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Cotabato and Mindanao

Over the past year, we have kept an informal record of scammers who have been identified on our site.  We have had scammers claiming to be from the Philippines, the U.S., U.K., Nigeria, and elsewhere, some of whom we know are really from the places they claim to be from, and some whom are not.  We do our best both to remove scammers from our site and to educate our members about this important subject so that they can avoid emotional and financial traps.  As soon as we are sure about any new intelligence, we post it in our letters and blogs, for all our members to read.

Muslim Ladies at a Computer in the Philippines

Insist On Webcam Chat. Don't Get Tricked!

We have found that ladies from the area of Mindanao tend to be more likely to be scammers, and in particular, those from Cotabato.  All things considered, with the increased quantity of scammers from this area and the increased risks of violence in Mindanao, we now recommend that our members exercise extreme caution with any person from this region.

The behaviors we have seen in the scammers that characterize Cotabato and Mindanao are typical of Philippine scams: fake photos; reluctance to appear on webcam; requests to purchase webcams, computers, cell phones; premature declarations of love; preference for chatting on yahoo messenger rather than on our site; insistence on needing money for many different reasons; form letters; being online all the time; suggestion to circumvent immigration laws; request for excessive money to correct passport or birth certificate problems; they can be of any age but tend to be young, sometimes even in violation of our terms of service they are under 18 and lie about their age on their profile.

We also, however, want to draw your attention to some conversations we have had with one of our contacts who shared with us some of his experience with meeting people from Cotabato in the past.  In these conversations, we learned that some of the ladies claiming to be from Davao, Zamboanga, and elsewhere in Mindanao were actually in or from Cotabato.  This reinforced what we have observed as well.  Even more absurd, many of these ladies who claim to be Catholic or Christian from these areas are actually Muslim.  Many of the Muslims are part of a Muslim clan called Ampatuan which you can read about on your own.  They view outsiders who are not from their clan as enemies and are taught by teachers and parents to steal from enemies as part of holy war.  They are taught that laws of behavior do not apply to the way they treat those outside their clan.  They also work in teams, coming up with schemes to solicit funds; who you talk to one day on a YM might be a different person from the day before which might be a different person from who answers a phone; and a different person may occasionally do a webcam chat and/or receive money sent.  When they are successful, the money that is sent does not go to the poor children or education or medicine, but to the politicians and religious leaders directly, with only a possible commission going to the web scam team.

In this context, we reiterate our guideline recommendations for our members:

  • insist on chatting on webcam with those you meet online
  • do not send any money to anyone you have met online who you have never met in person
  • chat on our christian-filipina.com chat service, rather than yahoo messenger
  • familiarize yourself with all of our blog entries, and with stories from others at other sites like dragonladies.org
  • if any member ever asks you directly or indirectly for money, report it immediately from their profile page with the ‘report a problem’ feature
  • if you have any questions, please email us using the feedback link; if your question involves another member, send it from their profile page

(Added July 20 — ) One final note, we had previously written about one of the scammers from Mindanao, Rosebel (also known as many other names) — here is our previous entry about the scammer Rosebel Fajardo from Mindanao.  After a hiatus, she (or “she” as the case may be, we have no idea of the true identity or identities) has resurfaced, creating at least two profiles in the past week here on our site, one going by “Kiszle” and another as “Lady” but always using her same famous pictures, and lofty lies.  No doubt she’ll be back; we hope to catch her before her profile goes live, but if she tricks us and you notice her here again, please be sure to let us know!

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23 Comments »

  1. I would like to know if you have any neg feedback for user [], S Cotabato, who I have had many good, honest chats, but she says that she is no longer on your site because of bad people she says. She has not asked for money and seems genuine and has sent me new pics of herself and family.We chat on Yahoo now, but I see that she is online alot! Also, [], Molave, of whom I also have had many good msgs with no requests for money. I would also like to know which airport city I should use for either or both these cities. Thanks

    Comment by Barak Stasiowski — July 19, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  2. Hi Barak, I’ve removed the usernames and numbers from your comment. Normally this kind of personal question is best asked through the feedback link or report a problem feature from the user’s page. However, in this case I’ll answer it here for the benefit of other members also. The first user you mentioned had created an excessive number of profiles on the site. We don’t know her (or “her”) intentions, but we have a rule against creating multiple profiles, and between the creation of multiple profiles and being from Cotabato, we suspended all the matching profiles. The second user we haven’t heard of anything negative, and indeed I note that her account is active.

    While we aren’t travel agents, we are aware that the common practice for many people is to fly into Cebu on the international airline, and then any person from the Visayas or Mindanao can take a cheap boat ride to see you there (12-36 hour boat ride). You can also get a cheap flight between Cebu and Manila on one of the local airlines, or from Cebu or Manila to most of the cities in the Philippines.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — July 19, 2010 @ 10:43 am

  3. For me, its unfair just using mindanao or naming it as a scammers place. I came from mindanao also and I’m not a scammer. Mindanao is not only cotabato or davao. It’s a large area where there are more christian than muslims. There’s Butuan City, Surigao City, Cagayan de oro City and even bukidnon. There’s Camiguin island, gingoog city, etc. It hurts me to know that mindanao is named as a scammers place. All I can say is that we’re not.

    Thanks and more power…

    Comment by mimiluds — July 20, 2010 @ 8:38 am

  4. I don’t like to talk using the webcam esp. when i have just chat with a guy. I think it will come later if we like each other. Anyway, he has a picture and I assumed he’s honest that it is his/him. I wouldn’t ask anyone for money…

    thanks…

    Comment by mimiluds — July 20, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  5. Hi mimiluds, Thanks for taking the time to respond. However, please remember: life isn’t fair. We all have to give thanks for our blessings and work hard to overcome the challenges we have. It’s good that you would not ask anyone for money. That would be beneath the dignity and wisdom of a mature Filipina, and also it is against our terms of service. However, you need to rethink your other assumptions. Just because you see a picture on a profile does not mean that the person with whom you are communicating is the one in the picture. And most of our members know this, so they will insist quite rightly that you should chat on webcam. If you are resistant to that, it is unlikely that you will meet anyone on our site. We certainly would not recommend anyone to spend any time sending messages with any member who refuses to chat on webcam or makes excuses why it is impossible.

    Remember, if you are completely honest with your chat mates, and very careful to not deceive them in any way, you are laying the foundation that will allow for a lifetime of companionship. Be completely honest, and do not envy other people, comparing what you have to what they have. Do this, and when another member is ready for the next stage, they will choose you, because they can trust you.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — July 20, 2010 @ 11:05 am

  6. In addition to the comments being provided herein:

    We are not really generalizing Mindanao as a scam spot in the cyber zone. Rather, we just have to be very cautious of “some” of those pretending behind the scene. When i analyzed what had happened to me in the past, as a victim of this on-line dating scam, i searched, and researched all possibilities and intricated threads which scammers usually studied too well also. I found out that these scammers, mostly from UK, London, were linked with Muslims in Malaysia. These Malaysian were also linked with Muslims here at the Philippines, mostly were on the Mindanao region. They were all linked together and properly connected. I ran a check on the IP locations of the email communications sent to me. That’s how i discovered the connections within the group. I cannot just understand why all these cyber zone reporting were not given any attentions. I reported all these in UK, Malaysia and various sites. No actions were done, however.

    Well, let’s just keep our fingers crossed that the dark empowering of these people known as scammers be ended in whatever ways. I normally believed in the universal law of KARMA and they would not profit out of that. Anything that has been acquired through an ill intention activities would also be gone with the wind as quickly as they have tricked their victims. They would always live in miseries and pains, as their conscience would continously haunt them for what they have done to their poor victims – emotionally and financially. I do believe though, that no matter how bad a person is, there is a small part in their heart that will always have a light to STILL guide them to the right path. . I am just too sorry for these scammers and i pity them for what they are doing as a quick fix to their financial problems. . may GOD touch their hearts and refrain from being wicked ones.

    Thanks and regards,

    Comment by eT hARRY — July 22, 2010 @ 1:31 am

  7. Well, what am gonna say, Satan is in this world, not just in Mindanao, he’s in Luzon, Visayas, and all over the earth…..See, Rev.12:12 Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
    So, how about ourselves???? Do we examine deeply??? Let’s not be one sided, let’s examine both parties, men and women sides, to be fair…..Love you all!!!

    Comment by Marife — July 22, 2010 @ 2:32 am

  8. I come from Mindanao and I just logged on this site and upon reading this article, I really feel upset. I understand that the site is trying to protect members from scammers and all that but to say that they should be more cautious with ladies from Mindanao is ridiculous. People are people. If I am a foreign man who have read this post, I would not even think of considering anyone from Mindanao. It’s really offensive, baseless and unfair. It is good to caution the members of possible scammers and some such people but to mention a particular place and asserting that ladies from these places are more likely to be liars is very irresponsible judgment. I think it is in the way the article was written that sounded very biased. Please be more sensitive.

    Comment by katrina — July 23, 2010 @ 4:17 am

  9. Such a heartbreaking blog, just new in this site. I understand that not all Mindanaoans were scammer but it created bad impressions to all of us who come from Mindanao. shocking! Anyway, I pray and trust God that members in this site will not generalized us all…as scammers! ouch!!

    Comment by zyrene_ann — July 24, 2010 @ 8:23 am

  10. Hi Ladies,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. Remember, we don’t suggest that all people from Mindanao are con artists. But the fact is that the proportion of the profiles listing locations in Mindanao are more than double as likely to be suspended for violations of terms of service as other locations in the Philippines (with the exception of Angeles City). Here are some data on the percentage of profiles that we have had to suspend from selected cities:

    Dumaguete, 2%
    Antipolo, 2%
    Pasig, 2%
    Cebu, 3%
    Ormoc, 3%
    Quezon City, 3%
    Philippines Average, 4%
    Manila, 5%
    Mindanao, 8%
    Angeles, 9%

    If you are a lady from Mindanao and are not a scammer (probably most are not scammers), we encourage you to recognize this as an opportunity to better understand the behaviors of those around you and to consider how to stand out from them. Be completely honest, patient, do not attempt to solicit pity or money, work hard to be independent and to improve your English, and be conservative in your relations with others as a single person. If you do this, our open-minded members will take note of your exemplary behavior and be impressed with how you are someone they would like to meet despite being from Mindanao. God Bless.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — July 24, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  11. i am from mindanao.it makes me upset when i have read your blog.not all from mindanao are scammers.i became once a victim of scammerSSS,from UK man connected Malaysia.even from my friends filipinas from manila they are making me money,they ripping me off ex:reasoning their children,etc.even were same women.so don’t just mention mindanao are scammers.i am a member of this site,but i have to discontinue now in this site….right now….

    Comment by ern — July 26, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

  12. Beware! Your site has been infiltrated by scammer/s! She can be a woman, pretending to be a man, or a he, pretending to be woman…I suggest you screen all new male members who have joined not later than 20th of July, as far as I know, ’til now…He/she claimed to come from America in another site where I met him/her. I saw here his/her profile that he/she claim, to come from Australia. Charm is deceptive, ladies, don’t get lured!For all you know, you’re falling for a woman!

    Comment by angelina Zuend — July 28, 2010 @ 5:21 am

  13. Hi Angelina,

    If you are aware of a specific member who is a scammer, please send us a report of it directly by going to the member’s profile, and clicking on Report A Problem, then complete and submit the form.

    We do screen every single new profile, and we catch most of the attempts by scammers to join our site, however sometimes we make a mistake and approve someone who later turns out to be a scammer. We rely on reports from our members like yourself to catch those who slip through. By the way, you may want to add any additional comments on this topic to the blog entry we made about Scammers Targeting Women.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — July 28, 2010 @ 11:24 am

  14. understandable on both sides…I am from Angeles. Once I had met a good guy who was from another country of course, but when he learned that I was from Angeles, he backed out thinking that this place is somewhat like Soddom and Gomorah. And that was all because of the feedbacks he got through friends and wrong sites. In short, he concluded that Angeles was…On the other hand, I understand why the administrator is posting such things. It is for everyboy’s protection. We really don’t know the people in here.It doesn’t mean that since we are in a christian site, we can trust all the members in it.I believe let’s just take heed ladies and gentlemen…God speed!

    … @ Jen: how come Angeles was excluded?As you posted it got the highest score.

    Comment by Awie — July 31, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  15. Hi Awie, We don’t have a breakdown of the reasons for the suspension. But my sense is that we suspend many profiles from Angeles based on inappropriate pictures, before they even have the chance to be live on the site; that’s different from being reported for soliciting money. You’re right that for anyone chatting with another member from Angeles, it’s worth learning what Angeles is famous for in the Philippines. As you suggest Awie, just because someone is from Angeles does not mean that the person is necessarily involved in the industry for which Angeles is famous. Use the same basic common sense as elsewhere: if a member chats with you and wears very revealing clothing, or if their profile pictures are excessively revealing, we’d consider that a warning sign to reconsider. But if a person is conservative, respectful, honest, hard-working, and generous, then take the time to continue getting to know the person and see where it leads, without worrying about where exactly the person is from.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — July 31, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

  16. I am sad and I’m very upset upon reading this blog. I did not expect that this would gonna be happen. I know that you want only to protect all the members of this site but be sensitive of anything that you are posted here. I am from Mindanao too and particularly in Davao City and I want to give comment regarding Mindanao is a scammers as what you said…I was upset because our profiles was suspended because of this only it is so…….unfair for us or to those people who are not belong of this what you call SCAMMERS. It hurts us so much. I thought this site will give me a man who is to be my lifetime partner but I was wrong………………all I can say to all of the staff in this site is……PLEASE BE SENSITIVE OF WHAT YOU ARE POSTING HERE……because of what you are posted here the foreigner men will walk out to us just because of this….hoping all the staff of this site will realize this…..thank you!!!!

    Comment by Merie — August 10, 2010 @ 6:07 am

  17. Hi Merie,

    We do not suspend our members based on their location. We only suspend members based on violations of our terms of service.

    Jen

    Comment by Christian Filipina — August 10, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  18. actually i am agree with merie said…she had a point…about the blog that in mindanao mostly have scammers because the foreigners might discourage from the women came from our place… i think not only mindanao but also in other part…as far as i notice that mindanao is the last progressive part of our country… meaning in terms of that scam we are last…im not agree in the blog which they post… this is a christian filipina website… be fair, dont be judgemental…

    Comment by cheepy — August 14, 2010 @ 4:42 am

  19. Hi, I’m also from Mindanao, living in Davao city but actually from Cotabato, when you say Cotabato the common belief was that “this is an area belong only to Moro People”, CORRECTION please there are also Christians from this area which migrated from Visayas just like us. My understanding towards this blogs, that the administrator of this site does not generalize women from Mindanao BUT MOST SCAMMERS WOMEN ARE FROM MINDANAO. Just a piece of advice, if your not the scammers don’t get affected, as long as your honest with yourself and you have fear in God, everything will follow, if situation happens that you meet your guy and suddenly turn his back because the reason was your from MINDANAO then his not the PERSON FOR YOU BECAUSE HIS fails to TRUST you. Relationships are bound with TRUST and FIDILITY and LOVE, if one of these TRAITS is lost then do not expect that your relationship will be successful. “It’s Better that you know your mate at early stage than waking up in the morning finding that the love has gone, because of misunderstanding which both of you wasn’t able to build the 3 traits which is the foundation of Relationship”. Anyway, Good luck for the search.

    God bless you all!

    Comment by rizpah — August 16, 2010 @ 3:39 am

  20. Hi, I am not a member of your dating site. My best friend from Virginia USA forwarded to me this blog, because he wanted to hear my opinion. I am also from Mindanao, particuarly in Davao City. Yes… scammers are not only from Mindanao but from anywhere in the globe. Please take note that your sites has the responsibility to educate and properly inform old and new members of a possible scam they will encounter in your dating sites in many forms. A “MESSAGE ALERT” to all members about a new scammer found would be of great help. I would like you also to qualify that women scammers from from Manila and Cebu are using Mindanao as thier new location in their profile, though they are not actually living here, because they have already victimized many using Manila and Cebu as their place of residence. Scammers most likely can travel anywhere because they have money to spend. I will site you this recent observation. I was in Manila from Aug 20 to 26. I met a beautiful lady in the dormitory where we stayed. She is friendly and conversant. I found out that she just came from Boracay Island with a Japanaese boy friend who flew to Japan the day before we met. Her laptop is always turned on, on top on her bed. I can see her chatting/talking to different men at different times. The night of the the hostage taking incident in Manila, she was talking to a white man. I heard through their conversation that the man was so worried because she said she cant go home to Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao)for the couple of days om effect of the hostage taking incident, and needs more financies for her stay in Manila to follow up her passport. As all we know passporting is done locally and not in Manila. She can apply for passport in Cagayan de Oro City. So that the man promised to send her again another $300. The following day we had breakfast together in the canteen, through out conversation, I found out that she is not living in Cagayan de Oro but from Batangas which is one to two hours ride from Manila on heavy traffic. I asked her if she did ever gone to Mindanao and she said no way, I am afraid of the Muslims. Why on earth she told her white boy friend that she can’t go home to Cagayan de Oro for couple of days? Then I asked her jokingly, how about your Japanese boy friend? You don’t like him? She answered, yes I will continue to like him as long as he will send “lapad” “Japanese money” every month as he promised. And we just laughed with her. Did your boy friend from the USA knew that you were in Boracay for one week? She answered no, why should I tell him? Did he not wonder everytime she chat with you that you are in the beach? No, he wouldn’t find out because, I told him that the laptop is in the repair shop since last week, and he sent $500 last week for the repair and for my trip to Manila. All he know that I was still in Cagayan de Oro and flew to Manila 3 days ago to get my passport. Now, can you see how this lady victimized this men? And to tell you she is not talking to only two men, she has many falling in love with her. She is pretty, sexy, demure but very smart, witty and a scammer. To men out there who are looking for a good wife….. please be careful, don’t rush your search…. long friendship is the best venue to develop love relationship. There are lots of good, honest & trustworthy PIlipinas. Only they are seldom found in the internet dating sites. If you find one, be patient if what she can afford is only once a week internet chat. And that would be a good start.

    Comment by Villa Linda Villamor — August 27, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

  21. Mindanao should NEVER be generally cautioned against. If you are going to say that a number of members are scammers, then name the city and region, but do not say, basically, “Watch out for Mindanao!” That would be like scammers in a USA site, and several in Sanfranciso and Oakland (both in the northern part of California), and so I say “Watch out for California!” Well, that would be so very unfair. Fact: MOST of Mindanao is Christian and safe; Fact: MOST girls in Mindanao are serious girls with very good upbringings (excellent, really); Fact: MOST girls in Mindanao would never even think about asking for money. They are so shy about that: In Surigao and Davao, yes, very shy girls and asking for money is not going to happen. So what you should really caution against is “Asking for money” in general and other points, because you are much more likely to be asked for money and scammed by a girl living in Manila and Angeles than you are in most of Mindanao, and that is a fact. So tell about the muslim cities and ways, yes, but do not generalize about Mindanao, please. The good people there are so sick of Americans and other foreigners doing that. Thank you.

    Comment by CTM — August 30, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

  22. hi, i’m also from mindanao but i’m not scammer, i work here in iloilo city, i didn’t know that most of the scammer’s are from mindanao, it’s hard to trust someone here in the internet.i think they shouldn’t do that…i’m sad, on my account here all is true and not fake, i use only one account in different websites, you can check me on my account on zorpia…

    Comment by yench — September 23, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

  23. why they doing that?.i’m from mindanao but i’m working here in a government agency in iloilo city, it sad to hear that mostly scammer’s are from mindanao….i’m from cotabato…..it’s sad to hear, i use only one email ad on all of my accounts here on the internet, you can track me on fb, zorpia, ym,tagged..hope all of us learn how to use internet properly..thank you

    Comment by yench — September 23, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

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