When you do research on dating Filipinas online or on a Filipina dating site, you’ll come up with a lot of complaints and warnings against falling victim to scammers. Filipina dating scams are a constant worry for well-meaning men looking for love online. These scams come in many forms, but they all have one thing in common: greed. Falling victim to a scam leaves you feeling violated. Even the realization that the woman you’ve been talking to is a scammer can leaving you feeling heartbroken. It’s enough to turn you off online dating for good, but if you know what to look out for, you can avoid making contact with most of the scammers and quickly drop any you may find. If you know what to look for, you can avoid the obvious scammers. There are a few scams that they do over and over, and if you see the signs you won’t fall victim to one. I’ll even show you a nearly full-proof way to beat the scammers at their own game.
What To Avoid
If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. If a woman’s pictures look too good, she may be using photos of a Filipina celebrity. At one time, you could tell that the quality of the photos were too good, but now a lot of celebs post cell phone pictures on Instagram. Anyone can copy them, and they just look like they were taken by anyone. Some may even be minor stars or models that aren’t recognizable to most Filipinos. You can try doing a Google search-by-image, though the results often aren’t accurate. You’re better off going on your best instincts. If they don’t look like pictures of a typical woman, they probably aren’t.
A woman that shows too much skin is also a highly possible scammer. Even if she isn’t, she’s probably not marriage material. Well-brought-up Filipinas are not likely to post photos of themselves in bikini or in revealing clothes. Market research shows that men are more likely to click on a web ad that features a sexy woman, and these scammers are trying to get as many men on the hook as they can.
Sometimes the scammers text is a giveaway. Writing about their poverty is a dead giveaway. Most women only write a few sentences in the “About Me” text of their profile. Writing too much isn’t necessarily bad, but it should raise red flags if the text on a woman’s profile is more wordy or in more fluent English than her messages to you.
Common Philippines Dating Scams
Buy me a webcam: This is scam I came across the most often. Getting a potential match on web cam is one of the first things you should do to avoid wasting time. This lets you see that she is both a woman and the same woman you saw on the profile. When you start messaging with a scammer, they think they’ve got you on the hook. But when you start asking to see them for real, they know the game us up. They know they won’t get much money from you, so they try to grab what little they can. They pretend they want to chat with you, but sadly they can’t. They’d be happy to video chat with you if you’d send them some money for a webcam. But this story doesn’t hold together. If they are talking to you, they obviously have computer access, and almost every modern laptop has a web cam built in. Even if it’s broken, every small town in the Philippines has a net cafe, and most will have webcams. Even if they don’t, every smartphone has a camera. If they don’t have one, they have a friend or cousin who does. And every mall, Jollibee or McDonald’s has WiFi access. Anyone who says they can’t video Skype with you is lying. If you do send money to them, you still won’t see them on video. You’re more likely to get asked for more money.
I’m so hungry: Someone who can’t take care of themselves is not someone you want to be in a relationship with, so if the woman you are talking to starts acting needy, talk to someone else. A good woman will be too shy to ask for money from a stranger even if they need it. They are much more likely to go to family or friends to borrow a little to get by. It is also below their dignity to complain to someone they barely know. If they are giving you a sad story, it’s very likely you’re being scammed. Even if it is true, they are not someone you want to be with. If a woman starts telling you she’s barely scraping by and needs money for food, tell her to focus on taking care of herself and forget about online dating until she can take care of herself.
Someone is sick/hurt/in trouble: This is one you’re likely to hear after you’ve been in a “relationship” for awhile. They’ve got you hooked, you’ve built up trust, you want to believe them. Now it’s time to cash in. The story might develop like a narrative over the days or weeks. Suddenly, they get the bad news. Someone takes ill, or they are in an accident, or they are about to lose their home. While it’s always possible that it could be true, it almost certainly is not. First, it’s too big of a coincidence. Second, even if it’s true, decent people are more likely to go to their friends or family for help. It’s almost impossible for you to know for sure if her claims are true. If you’re a good person, this type of scam is going to haunt you. You want to help people, but save your money for the people you know really exist.
I want to come visit you: There may be a situation where you can’t fly all the way to the Philippines. You might think it’s easier to bring your new lady to you. That’s fine, but no matter what she says, buy the tickets yourself. You can buy tickets online, and she’ll only need a booking number and ID to pick up her ticket at the airport. You can even pre-check in for her and send her the e-ticket. I did this numerous times for my wife before we were married. Unless she has a stable career with substantial savings, investments, or property in the Philippines, or children or in the country, it is very unlikely she will be approved for a visa to any Western country. If she’s a scammer, she may try to sell you the story that she can get a visa if she has a substantial amount of savings. She’ll ask you to fill her bank account, which she’ll transfer back to you once she has the visa. Of course, you’ll never see that money again. It takes more than a lump sum in the bank to get a visa. It has to be shown that deposits have been made over a period of time, demonstrating regular income. Even if that is sorted, she’s still very unlikely to get a visa. Single women with no job and no property are unlikely to be given a visa. If you can’t go to the Philippines, instead, meet her in one of the countries that offer visa-free travel to Filipinos.
Marry me: Some scams are short cons, and some are long cons. The short cons are easiest to spot. What’s harder to detect is when a woman appears to be in love with you over a long period of time. Unlike many scammers, she may not be really married or have a boyfriend. She may show genuine commitment to you. She may marry you and come to your country, then as soon as she can, she files for divorce. Most of the time when an international relationship leads to marriage but ends in divorce, this is what everyone assumes happened. Sometimes it is, but often the couple couldn’t deal with their problems any better than any other couple who ends up divorced. But for the times it’s a real long con, it’s hard to detect. Some clues might be that she’s too eager to progress the relationship, even professing love at first site. Maybe she doesn’t seem to be really interested in you, your family, your background. Or she wants to know too much about your financial situation.
Another long term scam is the woman who marries a much older man expecting he will die soon. There’s a saying Filipinos refer to as 4M (“matandang mayaman madaling mamatay” meaning “old, rich, die soon”). Her plan is to inherit his savings, property, and pension. She may or may not have genuine affection for the man, but she’s not in it for the long term. In some ways, this is more a scam on any family the man has. If you’re in this situation, leave a detailed will and let the woman know beforehand. If you lose her, you never had her.
The Surefire Way to Beat A Dating Site Scam
If you are in a budding relationship with a woman and you start to think it’s time to get serious about her, but you’re worried that you are the potential victim of a scam, there’s one way to find out that will almost definitely work. Catfish them. You might get kicked off a dating site, and you might make someone you care about angry, but if you’re forming a relationship with someone far away, you need to know what you’re getting into. The way it works is simple. Just create another dating profile, or get a friend to create one. Send messages to the woman in question. You don’t need to pull a real catfish and form a relationship with them. Just start chatting with them and work money into the conversation. Be casual or be blunt; if they jump at the chance to get your money, you know what they really are.
If you are in a supposedly real relationship with a woman, you might also check to see if they are still active on any dating sites. If they are, you’re not in a real committed relationship.
The best way to avoid a scam is to get as much information as you can. Be her Facebook friend. Almost everyone in the Philippines with any access to a phone or computer is on Facebook. Some telecom companies even offer free or very cheap access to Facebook. Check out her page and how far back her posts, pictures, and likes go. If it’s not far, be suspicious. Check out her friends and make sure they’re real. Fake profiles sell online for $1 each, and you can be full of fake friends for a few dollars more. If you’ve been together for awhile, you can even friend her relatives. See what they say to her. If nothing else, you’ll get to know her better.
Unfortunately, Googling a Filipino name won’t give you as much information as searching for an American name. I can find all about myself, but you’re not likely to find more than social media for a Filipino. But try it anyway. If they are a known scammer, there may be information about them. You can try searching for the text they used on their profile pages or in their first message to you. If they’re lazy, they’re probably using the same messages over and over. Sometimes, scam victims will post these texts online for others to find. I found a couple scammers this way, but they were such obvious fakes I wouldn’t have continued talking to them anyway.
Other dangers and annoyances are a different kind of webcam scam. This is where you begin talking to a woman who invites you to view her web cam. Usually, she begins talking in a over-sexualized way right off the bat to leave you wanting more. Then, she tries to lead you to a site where you have to pay. This is just a form of internet marketing. Another scam, really blackmail, is where women convince to have a video chat that leads to the man in a compromising position. It is possible for a person to take screenshots or even screen capture video of a chat session. She then threatens to blackmail the man by sending the video to his wife/boss/friends. Military service personnel are regular targets of this scam.
While it’s not a scam on you, some Filipinos are scammed by the annulment scam, which could have serious effect on your relationship. I’ve written a separate article about that.