Embassy officials have warned Filipino expatriates against online and telecom scams targeting and trying to entrap the community ... and have also urged them not to gamble.

The fresh advisory by the Philippines Embassy follows a number of reported cases of its nationals being duped.

“We issued the advisory after some cases were brought to our knowledge in which our nationals had taken part in online ‘raffles’ that were all fraudulent,” said Philippines Ambassador Alphonso Ver.

“They were enticed to use their cell phones and pay BD5 online in the hope of pocketing money and gifts.”

The diplomat understands that the ‘win great prizes’ raffle scam targeted residents on Philippines Independence Day last Saturday and urged them to take part.

“It is our sincere appeal to all our nationals not to fall prey to these online scams promising big returns,” he added.

In addition, the diplomat also urged his community not to indulge in gambling while playing card games or other activities, stating the activities were illegal in Bahrain and penalties severe.

There are around 58,000 Filipinos working in Bahrain, of which 18,000 are domestic workers.

The GDN reported earlier this month that fraudsters had stepped up their criminal activities by sending out text messages promoting bogus trading and investment opportunities under the name of Bahrain Post.

The swindlers were also asking their victims to disclose personal information and bank details to claim gifts.

The General Directorate of Anti-Corruption and Economic and Electronic Security issued a further warning about fake advertisements. There were also Covid-19 scams set up by fraudulent websites.

The Interior Ministry’s Anti-Corruption and Economic and Electronic Security director general Brigadier Bassam Al Miraj said the directorate dealt with 600 cases involved in scam activities and referred 400 of these to the Public Prosecution between November and February.

To report similar crimes, contact the ministry’s 24-hour hotline 992.

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