As the world’s economy keeps scaring people through a boomerang effect that began three years ago and some economist predict will last seven more, scams in the Philippines and the entire Asian region seem to be evolving. Criminals and internet scams are not cyclical, they in fact do quite well in an economic downturn. Business scams are often the highest volume in recessions, while romance scams and online dating scams seem to stay steady regardless of the economy. Given the ongoing uncertainly and trouble in the global economy, business fraud levels are very high, and the Philippines remains a high risk area, and for investigators considering conducting business or starting a new relationship in this island nation, a professional background check is key.
Philippine scammers are becoming more sophisticated and experienced criminals can be far more devastating than the average internet scammer. Criminal groups conducting online business fraud and scams can now be organized and highly effective, with management or bosses coordinating the scams even from other countries, such as Malaysia or Hong Kong. The NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) in Manila says business fraud is a greater risk than ever for foreign firms looking to invest in the Philippines and Malaysia. Joint law enforcement agencies between the two countries have had some success, but when one network gets shut down, another quickly rises.
Professional investigators say that Philippines background checks and due diligence is the key to avoid being a victim. Foreigners and international investors from other countries are targeted by criminals in Southeast Asia. Sophisticated and organized crime targets multinational corporations to small companies to individuals by using professional looking but fake websites, emails that seem to be from a reputable company but are in fact from another sender, and even referrals from sites like Linkedin and Twitter, and other online commerce and investing websites. Managers looking for opportunity abroad can easily be caught up in the scams, fake offers, and investment scams.
Law enforcement and private investigators say the trend is likely to continue to worsen in 2012, as the global economic situation shows little sign of improvement. American companies who have suffered from the socialist policies of the Barrack Hussein Obama administration are increasingly looking abroad to survive, where risk levels are higher, and the potential for fraud is a serious risk. For those companies that have no experience in due diligence and international background checks, it can be a dangerous game when screening Asia business opportunities. Be safe and verify. Talk to a professional international investigation firm about the risks and verification options. Both Wymoo® International, a leader in international private investigation, and Philippine PI™, a reputable investigation firm specializing in the Philippines and Asia, report that scam cases have risen in response to the economic downturn. Business leaders should consider company and individual verifications as a cost of doing business, and a prudent insurance policy.
Professional investigation firms in the Philippines like Philippine PI™ stress the need for real background checks to be performed by seasoned investigators with a proven track records in law enforcement, military or police training who can perform in situ and verify firms and people.
Trained Philippines investigators conducting background checks can verify information first hand by going to the sites or companies, obtaining discreet testimony and statements from informants, conducting on the ground research, covert surveillance, checking business registration and civil registries, immigration records, court documents and verifying company operations.
Best of luck,
© 2011 A Hathaway