EDITORIAL | Pandemic, scamdemic

The pandemic rendered us vulnerable not only to anxieties surrounding health and mental well-being, but also to concerns about our financial security.

In the Philippines, thousands of workers lost their jobs, some needed to shift to radical changes in their employment setup, while others suffered massive losses in their businesses.

These have led to tremendous insecurities, allowing some to fall prey to the numerous scams that are increasing alongside the growing impacts of the global health crisis. 

Many of the scammers are using age-old tactics in new and complex ways to target the vulnerability of Filipinos.

Among those which have been reported to be on the uptick are scams related to investments, fake crypto-assets or crypto-currencies, and those that stem from online selling or even dating platforms.

The government has not been remiss in warning the public about the rise in the number of these scams.

Almost daily, the Securities and Exchange Commission issues advisories informing the public to avoid dealing with particular shady, unregistered companies.

Still, much of the responsibility in preventing oneself to fall prey to these harmful schemes falls on the individual.

They must learn to recognize the red flags, many of which are glaring in these scams.

No one is certain when a cure or vaccine will be made available to allay our fears of the virus. Many even predict that it has already claimed a secure spot in the new normal, much like the flu or the common cold.

As regards scams, however, we already have at our disposal a number of safeguards: a database of legitimate businesses, along with a steady stream of reminders.

Yet in many cases, it takes only common sense to recognize the simple fact that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.