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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 chat service, rather than yahoo messenger
  • familiarize yourself with all of our blog entries, and with stories from others at other sites like
  • 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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