Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2010 Events on Spa, Massage, Beauty and Wellness

View my Latest TV Guesting on Youtube:

2010 Events on Spa, Massage Beauty and Wellness

This is a list of 2010 events related to spa, beauty and wellness locally (meaning in the Philippines) and abroad for informational purposes only. Although comprehensive, this is in no way complete and is posted in my blog for the convenience of those seeking information, conference participants and events, conference, trade show organizers who need to publish their upcoming events. Please email me if you need your event to be listed for FREE ( Although great care is being taken to ensure the correctness of all entries, I cannot accept any liability that may arise from the presence, absence or incorrectness of any particular information on this blog. Always check with the meeting organizer or their website before making arrangements to participate in an event.

Spa & Resort Expo & Conference/Medical Spa

February 20, 2010 - February 21, 2010

Los Angeles Convention Center

Los Angeles, CA

Professional Beauty

March 07, 2010 - March 09, 2010


International Esthetics, Cosmetics, & Spa Conference-New York

March 07, 2010 - March 09, 2010

Jacob Javits Convention Center

New York, NY

Natural Products Expo West

Natural is Now twenty10

March 11-14, 2010

Anaheim Convention Center

Anaheim, CA, USA
Registration is FREE before February 5, 2010 for all qualified buyers, distributors and brokers.

Day Spa Expo and Business Forum

March 13-15, 2010

Las Vegas Convention Center

Face, Body Spa and Healthy Aging Conference and Expo Midwest

March 27, 2010 - March 29, 2010

McCormick Place West

Chicago, IL

The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa

April 10, 2010 - March 12, 2010

Miami Beach Convention Center

Miami, FL

Esthetique International Spa-VANCOUVER

April 18, 2010 - April 19, 2010

Canada Place on the Waterfront

Vancouver, CANADA

4th Annual Global Spa Summit

May 16, 2010 - May 19, 2010

Istanbul, Turkey

Beauty World Japan 2010

May 17, 2010 - May 19, 2010

Tokyo Big Sight

Tokyo, Japan

Exhibit at the China Beauty Expo

May 21-29, 2010

New International Expo Center

Shanghai, China

World Massage Festival & Massage Therapy Hall of Fame

June 17, 2010 - June 21, 2010

Berea College

Berea, KY

Nutracon Asia: Call for Papers

August 26-27, 2010

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center

Hong Kong, China

The 8th Natural Product Expo Asia

August 26-28, 2010

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center

Hong Kong, China

The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa

September 26, 2010 - September 27, 2010

Long Beach Convention Center

Long Beach, CA

Ageless Festival 10-10-10

October 10, 2010

Singapore, China

Wellness Summit 2010 will be held over three days and shall be a part of Ageless festival a weeklong event in Singapore. October 10, 2010

International SPA Association (ISPA) Conference & Expo

November 15, 2010 - November 18, 2010

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center on the Potomac

National Harbor, MD

Philippine Events

Manila Overseas Career and Livelihood Fair

January 15, 2010

Tutuban Mall exhibit


World Trade Center Metro Manila

Pasay, , Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 551 5151

Fax: +63 (2) 551 5243

International Tourism and Trade Expo

May 15, 2010

SM Megamall


Food Franchising

Sept. 15, 2010

World Trade Center Metro Manila

Pasay, , Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 551 5151

Fax: +63 (2) 551 5243

Food and Drinks Asia

Sept. 15, 2010

World Trade Center Metro Manila

Pasay, , Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 551 5151

Fax: +63 (2) 551 5243

Health, Beauty, Fitness and Lifestyle Asia 2010

Sept. 15, 2010

World Trade Center Metro Manila

Pasay, , Philippines

Tel: +63 (2) 551 5151

Fax: +63 (2) 551 5243

Health World Expo

October 15, 2010

SMX Convention Center

Seashell Drive, Mall of Asia Complex Pasay City, Metro 1300

Manila, , Philippines

Tel: (632) 5568888

Fax: (632) 5562970

Health World Expo

October 15, 2010

SMX Convention Center

Seashell Drive, Mall of Asia Complex Pasay City, Metro 1300

Manila, , Philippines

Tel: (632) 5568888

Fax: (632) 5562970

Friday, November 13, 2009

American Idol, Lucy Torres Gomez, Massage World Record, World Travel and Tours and Malapacao (November 2009)

American Idol, Lucy Torres Gomez, Massage World Record, World Travel and Tours and Malapacao
(November News and Views Report 2009)

Today is the beginning of something new in this blog. I will be including in this blog, a monthly (and hopefully in the near future, bi-monthly) news and views report which will feature and discuss local (meaning Philippines) and international news, still within the boundaries of spa, massage therapy, beauty, well-being, health and wellness. Anything related with those issues, I will try to give you current (and as much as possible) events and the latest happenings in the industry. Some might be controversial and some trivial. Some needs our attention and some needs our action. I want some news and information that people can interact with. They may be used as a stepping stone towards more ideas, information, more resources and more learning. Hopefully with these news and views feature, we will be able to create a better place to live in.

Let us start with lighter news:

Who among you watches American Idol? I have watched it, TV several times and I am drawn to the fact that each judge has different personalities. And what does American Idol have to do with Spa, Massage, Beauty and Wellness? Well, one of the judges, Simon Cowell, also known as called Mr. Nasty because of how he comments harshly, putting down the contestants and with the few times that I have watched American Idol, I would say that on spotlight (and not in real life), he is “brutally blunt or should I say, brutally honest?” Simon would put down and criticize the contestants and their abilities. But of course, I do not believe that in real life he has that horrible personality. He also received booo’s from the audience even before he speaks. He recently bought his 22$ Million home in Beverly hills in May of 2009. And apparently his dressing Room on XFactor (UK’s largest talent search) has its own Massage area. According to his co-judge, Simon Cowell has spent £50,000 doing up his room and it’s like a palace with plasma TV’s, a massage room and a fridge full of the most expensive champagne money can buy. This 50-year-old music mogul also has a luxury bathroom stocked with beauty products (ehem…at mahilig din daw siya mag pa Botox), including eye wrinkle cream, shaving paste and razors. Validoso di ba? So what does this show us? That there is also a big market in the entertainment industry for professionals like us and for products and services in the field of spa, massage therapy, beauty and wellness. Especially anti-aging. That there is no need to be “madamot” (greedy) with information and resources and no need to fight over clients because there are a lot of them out there. That there is no need para magsiraan at magkaroon ng "hate" campaign and brigade because with that we also hurt ourselves in the process. That we should help each other in promotions because what goes around comes around. That indeed, the spa, beauty and wellness industry is a booming market ONLY if you know how to do the business and position yourself with dignity and respect for others. The industry has a lot to improve and we all have a lot to contribute let us not start by resentment (there is no exact Tagalog word, but it’s a combination of a feeling of “inggit” or envy with “pagtatampo” mild sulking or “hinanakit” indignation or ill will felt as a result of a real or imagined grievance).

If we are to conquer the world and be a salt of this earth we have to conquer the world with goodness and the God who sees your every good deed will ultimately reward you for it.
On to more cheerful news, I would like to show you a video on QTV11, where there is humor and advise in it. You can click on the link below or there is already a video uploaded for you, just right below this article, you can click on that instead.

Guinness Book and Massage
The largest simultaneous group massage has never been attempted before, so in October 2007, the world’s largest simultaneous group massage happened in Potter’s Field in London. They took part in a Guinness World Record attempt to be massaged for fifteen minutes by 154 professional massage practitioners.
Two adjudicators from Guinness World Records were on hand to certify the new world record. The adjudicators’ job was to check that all 154 people were properly seated and that the massage routine started and ended with the correct professional techniques. Ayan kinailangan pa nila na talagang i-professionalize ang pag practice ng massage. While last year in July of 2008, in Taipei Taiwan, they set a World Record by arranging for 1,008 people to have a foot massage simultaneously. While this year, on October 31, 2009 Massage magazine featured a massage therapist who broke the world record for single-handedly and continuously massaging for 68 hours. Geee…that is a feat to beat. The name of the massage therapist is (drums roll) Christina Brandon from Sarasota, Florida. Although these are events that awe the world, there have been a few comments from professionals in the industry saying that performing back to back massage sessions single-handedly is considered medical malpractice. Because as the therapist finishes each and every massage, her endurance decreases, her attention span to the client also diminishes. Since that is more than two days of performing massage, alertness and attentiveness to each individual client have been compromised. According to Steve, on Scottsdale Examiner Page “It is not possible to maintain the recommended and necessary level of attention to the individual client when the therapist has gone without sleep for 24, 48, or 60+ hours. Performing massage therapy while impaired may be a violation of Florida massage laws, since sa Florida nga ginawa itong record na ito, and certainly presents ethical questions. Certainly a doctor would never intentionally try to set a record for how many procedures he could perform without sleep as this would violate medical safety and ethical standards.” Sabi ni Steve Ibach na isang Massage Therapy examiner. My concern here is…is Guinness Record concerned with how is it performed and practiced like what they did in London? Or are they just shooting for numbers without the quality? Or kaya ba nating mag-organize ng ganitong event na pinakamaraming chair massage in the world? Hummm…… what do you think?

Good and Bad About the Philippines
Kamakailan lamang ay nag report ng kaniyang assessment ang isang foreign tourism expert sa Pilipinas, si Uwe Sturmann, at the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report at Dusit Thani in Makati Manila. Competitiveness, in travel lingo means the ability to conquer markets. Ibig sabihin, you are first and foremost in your clientele’s minds when it comes to a certain niche. So how are we performing? His assessment includes the following:
1. The Philippines is a good but underutilized potential compared to its neighboring countries.
2. The Philippines can weather the economic crisis, IF our tourism sector is resilient and IF we focus on that niche market.
3. The competitiveness of the Philippine tourism sector is relatively weak, we only rank number 86 of 133 countries in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 of the World Economic Forum. Eh baka naman itanong niyo sa akin sino ang una sa ating mga Asian countries? I included Middle Eastern countries as they are still included in the Far East region.
Okay sa Asia, ang mga nangungana at nasa Top 10 eh (drum roll)
1. Singapore
2. Hong Kong
3. Japan
4. Korea
5. Malaysia
6. United Arab Emirates
7. Israel
8. Qatar
9. Thailand
10. China
Worldwide naman, the top ten countries in Travel and Tourism Competitiveness are:
1. Switzerland
2. Austria
3. Germany
4. France
5. Canada
6. Spain
7. Sweden
8. United States
9. Australia
10. Singapore

Our government officials already know that the Philippines can contend and capitalize on its strengths. Pero the problem is wala talaga tayong “niche” dahil lahat ng ginagawa natin ay ginagawa na rin ng ibang bansang malapit sa atin. It would be very challenging (este to be politically correct challenging na lang para mild lang pag difficult kasi parang medyo medyo mahirap at hard kung malayo pa talaga ang dapat takbuhin sa karera..I said challenging BUT not impossible) at papano? We have to get our acts together, hindi yung kanya-kanya or sila-sila. We have to market our strengths strongly using our locals- hummmmm…..dito talaga mahihirapan tayo. On side note, eh papano yun? Karamihan sa locals mas gustong mag abroad at magbakasyon sa Amerika (kung can afford) at Hong Kong naman kung medyo on tight budget. Eh ni hindi nga siguro natin alam kung saan o ni napuntahan ang Malapacao eh. Papano natin mai-pro-promote ang sarili nating bansa eh napaka Western ng culture natin sa ngayon? nagsipagtapos tayo sa mga banyagang unibersidad sa labas ng bansa? Paano natin mai-pro-promote ang isang bansang hindi tayo naniniwala sa mga kakayahan? Let us face it, we still have a lot of growing and understanding to do when it comes to our beloved country and we are starting just now to understand. It will take many years of cooperation and nurturing from different sectors including private sectors (not only government) and us and our citizenry as a whole. Opo lahat tayo kailangang magtulong tulong, kahit taxi driver, (for example) kasi tourists will not come if our taxi drivers are known to be traffic violators, overcharging foreign nationals just because they saw that you are white, at marami pang iba. Of course there are a lot of taxi cab drivers na hindi ganito pero marami pa ring ganito ang ginagawa. Ano ngayon ang mangyayari sa mga naka experience ng ganito? Word of mouth will spread like wild fire, that the Philippines is not safe to travel while on taxi cabs, that the Philippines is just not ready to take on the surge of tourism increase, etc. When I was in Hong Kong, even an increment of your change hindi nag e-expect ang taxi cab driver doon ng tip. They will give you the change like for example, your taxi cab bill was 140HK$ and ang binigay mo is 150HK$, ibabalik nila ang sukli without hesitation, not unless ikaw na mismo ang magsabi na keep it. They will really run by the meter. I do not think it’s about the money aspect eh, but the ability to abide by what the law or the meter said. Tingnan mo pang ilan sila sa top…pangalawa di ba?

I remember when we attended last year’s, 2008 Health and Wellness Tourism Summit, Susie Ellis, President of Spa Finder, made some recommendations to really boost the spa industry together with other related industries. Sorry, I already took the liberty of editing it as Yunesa’s enhanced version (hehehe):

1. The Philippines has to develop the industry alongside other allied industries like massage therapy, spa, nutrition, travel/tourism, environmental groups, healthcare and education through collaboration with different industry sectors (both public/government and private).

2. Encourage learning and education to produce professionals who knows about the industry and accept its diversity. Instead of going out of the country for travel, leisure, beauty and wellness trips try first (local) Philippine-based tours and patronize Filipino owned businesses and products.

3. If you are contemplating on a business, go into business that emphasizes what will take care of the body and our environment. Be socially responsible. Stop patronizing businesses that will only use your money to destroy your health and the environment. Do not just buy something because it’s cheap, buy from businesses that affect people positively. Promote indigenous experiences (example hilot, cooking local food, cave explorations with travel, tourism and education) alongside promote Philippine local products to attract clients and improve outcomes.

4. Invest in education of the citizenry to develop an abundance of skilled professionals and informed public.

5. The Philippines has to develop public relations and marketing campaigns, advertising and promotions which, communicate the Philippine’s tremendous strengths like: medical expertise, compassionate care, English speaking, etc.

6. Make travelling alongside with other tourism efforts more financially attractive to locals.

I remember an email sent to me a few years ago by a friend who is also an OFW and just last month, the same email was sent to me by an online friend who is an American residing in the Philippines. I will paste here below:

The difference between the poor countries and the rich ones is not the age of the country:

This can be shown by countries like India & Egypt , that are more than 2000 years old, but are poor.On the other hand, Canada , Australia & New Zealand , that 150 years ago were inexpressive, today are developed countries, and are rich.

The difference between poor & rich countries does not reside in the available natural resources.Japan has a limited territory, 80% mountainous, inadequate for agriculture & cattle raising, but it is the second world economy. The country is like an immense floating factory, importing raw materials from the whole world and exporting manufactured products.Another example is Switzerland, which does not plant cocoa but has the best chocolate in the world. In its little territory they raise animals and plant the soil during 4 months per year. Not enough, they produce dairy products of the best quality! It is a small country that transmits an image of security, order & labor, which made it the world's strongest, safest place.

Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries show that there is no significant intellectual difference.Race or skin color are also not important: immigrants labeled lazy in their countries of origin are the productive power in rich European countries.What is the difference then? The difference is the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education & the culture & flawed tradition.

On analyzing the behavior of the people in rich & developed countries, we find that the great majority follow the following principles in their lives:
1. Ethics, as a basic principle.
2. Integrity.
3. Responsibility.
4. Respect to the laws & rules
5. Respect to the rights of other citizens.
6. Work loving.
7. Strive for savings & investment.
8. Will of super action.
9. Punctuality.
10. and of course...Discipline

In poor countries, only a minority follow these basic principles in their daily life.The Philippines is not poor because we lack natural resources or because nature was cruel to us. In fact, we are supposedly rich in natural resources.We are poor because we lack the correct attitude. We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles of rich & developed societies.

I deeply believe that there is a hero within us all and that there is still hope for our beloved country the Philippines. Only if we start acting now. Let us emulate the example of Filipinos like CNN Hero of the Year, Efren Penaflorida. Then a ripple of effct will take place.

So there we are...the cause and root and how we can all resolve the issues of poverty in our country. Let us all help in building and bridging the gap. It is good that we have heroes like Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and our OFW's, but it is not solely under the shoulders of Manny Pacquiao to build our credibility as a nation. It is within us all.

Before I end this news-blog, speaking of Malapacao (still wondering where it is? I, too did not know about it until last 2007 when someone at the spa summit mentioned it) here is an email invite from Leann, the owner and manager of a Private Resort in Malapacao, Palawan. By the way she also accepts Metrobank and Banco de Oro deposits, email her for more information:

Dear Eunice, it’s Leeann again of Malapacao.

The sun is beautifully shining once again in paradise. The rains and destruction of October is just a memory in the many challenges of living in the Philippines.The outcome of my heart-pouring energies of 30 days ago was a great success.Of the 300+ wonderful souls my message reached (re: the devastating damage of Ondoy and its follow-up) over 15% of you responded.I managed to raise over US$3,000, which equating in Pesos, goes a long way.Yes it’s amazing isn’t it, how so many in the universe gave, even though times are challenging for all of us. My heart goes out to all of you wonderful people and as promised, I’m doubling whatever was your donation in value of stay here at the retreat.The majority of this went to my staff helping their families and friends recover.When I learned of the great work the Animal Rescue teams (organized by PAWS) were doing rescuing many stranded furry critters on rooftops in Manila, I sent US$300to help them too. Imagine no water or food for days on end. How sad if they had no chance.A few weeks after Ondoy a huge hillside in Taytay (just 1 hour away) came crashing down, in the middle of another heavy storm, burying the newly build hospital and everyone inside.There were no survivors, even though many were texting for hours after the incident, buried in the rubble.It’s an understatement to say “it’s been sooooo a challenging month” but there is no other words to say. Having used up all my resources, with many of my own staff living with me for ages (their own homes were full of family) I can finally come up for air and turn inwards to recover, balance myself and repair my wonderful retreat and get back on my own feet.These past few days have been so wonderful again, I’ve been on my sundeck, hands openwide to the heavens, sending messages to connect to all of you who really need my wonderful island.So here’s a way to help yourself get back on track while helping me do the same.I’m offering a Double Tara Promo from NOW to December 15th with afantastic 40% off all my programs. It’s a great opportunity for both of us. Tell your friends too and bring someone with you;you probably know several or many, who really need to find balance right now. Even if it’s just a RAW FOOD or juice program and not a full detox, do come.Check out these figures and book on a plane to come.For more info just email me.

Many, many, many thanks in advance for your kind help and support once again.

Leeann Leeann Cruz, ND.
director and founder
Malapacao Private Island Retreat
Malapacao IslandPalawan Philippines
Mobile: +639189095573 <> <> <> Skype:privateisland (arrange beforehand)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Scams and Hoaxes and What To Do About It

A Warning On Scams And Hoaxes And What To Do About It

by Eunice Estipona

Okay I know that this does not have anything to do with spa, massage therapy and wellness but because this also affects our overall wellness, I will include this in the blog. I also think as someone who is in the forefront of information dissemination and as a blogger, we all have the right to discuss the other realities of life. Today I will blog about scams and hoaxes as recently it has affected me and one of my new staff. Please read below:

These are just examples of scams that you should be aware of:

I. Text and mobile phone scams with similar modus operandi like:

1. You have won like this or like that from the government or any private institution. But unfortunately hindi ka naman sumasali sa kahit na anong contests or raffle. Paano ka mananalo?

2. Someone posing as your kakilala (relatives, family member or friends) asking for load or money to be deposited to their account. This happened to one of my new staff who got a text message from this number 09204569906 and was posing as me (unfortunately, I was not available to be called at that time because my mobile number accepts only text/SMS messages because I was out of the country). Well, she was a new staff so she easily believed and sent a 100 peso load to the number. Kung 100 pesos nga lang pinag iinteresan pa nitong mga scammers how much more the big ones? Anyway, to make the story short, she sent the load and when I texted her back using my real mobile number, wala na. Napadala na niya yung load.

3. Someone who would like to meetup or see you (eye ball) posing as someone sent by your kakilala. Beware as this might be a hold-up. I remember, someone last year sent me several emails and text messages posing as Michael Roswell, a visiting American who wants to find a fiance (sorry, not interested) and is really very adamant in meeting me because he is a member of my online group at Meetup Philippines. Until finally after a lot of text messages and I did not reply nor did I give-in to meeting him. Another text message coming from another number (which I will not disclose) sent me a text message containing the following message “to all ladies beware of the anti-fraud international name Michael Roswell don't put load in his stupid phone. I take a paper on his bag and saw a list of number of victims. I am the one to meet him three times, do a Google search Daniel Brenar, his real name and I'm a secret agent of his ex wife, a Japanese in Japan email me for information. Then she gave out her email address. But then again, since I was never interested in meeting men online for courtship, I have never emailed the said texter. Putting a period in this scam by Micheal Roswell A.K.A. Daniel Brennar.

4. Someone posing as an OFW and wants to send some “padala” (gifts) or asking you to send money because they have a business to engage into and they would ask you to send money via Western Union or any remittance company.

5. Someone asking you to send or give money immediately because your friend, relative, boss or amo has been involved in an accident. Another person will pose as a courier for you to hand over the money to him/her.

6. Letters like this below:


To: undisclosed recipients

Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 10:10 AM
I am Mr Shawn Davis from the united kingdom,i want to make inquires for Massage training course(Massage therapy or body work) for 4 weeks in the months of March 7th 2011 to 3rd April for 5 adults (age-20&23)5 classes a week for 3 hrs,i hope the weather condition will be perfect and best for classes, what do you think? You are required to get back to me in details if you can accommodate us,meanwhile can you help me with the information below

1)Does your school operate full time to fit our schedule?

2)Are the instructors certified by any organization?

3)How many instructors are at each class?

4)What training kit do we need?

5)Do you accept credit card for payments (Visa,MasterCard)

6)Do you have accommodations,guest house or hotel close to your facility?...

I would love to hear from you in details and any information we ought to know before our classes,also enclose the total cost of your services,as soon as i hear from you i will proceed with prepayments for you to hold the dates and commence preparation for classes.i hope to hear from you soonest,thanks for your time.


Shawn Davis

That was a really good one.. I almost bought it except for one thing... If he were from the UK then he would know English grammer perfectly... Not only can he not write, but does not even address the letter to me and my name is at the top or even mention the Philippines as his location! For emails like this, do not even respond, but it would be a good scam letter to write about in a blog or an article like this one I am writing... Oh, you know he is after our personal information, address, bank, credit card account.. etc..

So, why are these text obviously a scam? How will you know that a text is a scam?

Number 1, the texter uses a “normal” 11 digit number. Legitimate SMS promos will always course through telecommunication companies’ short codes, 3- or 4-digit numbers provided by the carrier, not the usual mobile number format (example: 0918-123-4567).”

Secondly, the copy needs some work. Honestly, would you take a text message coming from “D’ Sec of Banko Sentral ng Pil” seriously? Ang galing naman mag short text messaging....

You never entered such a contest or promo. Think about it: how can you win something that you’ve never participated in?

Lack of claiming instructions. Valid announcements of winners will always feature detailed instructions on how to claim the prize, and not just simple instructions to call or claim your prize by sending money. Also when the message urges the recipient to claim his or her “prize” quickly. The Department of Trade and Industry said promos usually give the winner 60 days to claim the prize.

How to prevent and what to do with TEXT scams:
1. Kahit nakaka tempt, we should never give in to cash or monetary rewards offered by text scams. Do not give out any information and when they call you using the cell phone tanungin niyo ng mahusay. Sila ang tanungin niyo huwag ikaw. Sila ang tumawag at huwag ikaw. Do not waste your load. Let them run out of load. Do not text back and ignore their messages. If it's to god to be true then it probably is.
2. Do not give out personal information that can be exploited like your Full name, email address, mobile number, place and date of birth most especially your SSS number, credit card number, bank account details, etc. They are phishing for you to tell them of your financial information.
If you gave up your information already, contact your financial institution/ bank at once. You likely will have to close your account immediately. Here's what will happen when you give strangers your bank account information: They will take your money. Period. End of story. You get nothing, but you lose a lot.
3. Share your experience with our community through this blog.
4. Report it to any or all of the following:
5/F, EDPC Building, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Manila
Tel: 302-3982 and 524-7011 local 2372

National Bureau of Investigation, Taft Avenue, Manila
Tel: 523-8231 local 3455/3456

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP Complex, Mabini St. Manila
Tel: 523-4832 and 524-7011 local 2259
Hotline Tel. 7513330

The Columbia Tower, Ortigas Avenue, Barnagay Wack Wack
Mandaluyong City 1555
Trunkline 7277960-69
Public Assistance Center Hotline

II. Email SCAMS and hoaxes

In the form of:

1. In the form of employment opportunities, where you will have to send via email. All your credentials, your certificates including a copy of your passport, etc. After gathering all your documents, they will ask for a fee to process all your documents. Two years ago, my cousin has fallen prey to this and he sent $50 USD to a certain employment agency in New York only to find out that after more than six months, he was sent a cheque with a letter from some internet police authority and sent him back the 35$ because they said that they have been receiving reports that the organization that he sent the money to was a scam. Well, his case was a lucky one because at least he got his money back. But not so with most, where they get to send more and got nothing in return.

2. Email scams and hoaxes may also be in the form of an email message pretending to be from a financial institution or any big organization asking potential victims to call a number, and asks victims to key in their credit card or ATM number.

3. Beware of emails you receive because scammers will try to trick you by using phony e-mails, asking them to click to web sites that "spoofed" authentic web sites for banks and credit card companies, eBay and major retailers, even the IRS. Text message scams mostly appeared early this year.

4. Scams informing the recipient of winning big money in a lottery that he never joined like an email lottery “kuno”.

5. Scams from an anonymous individual or a political figure informing you to send money because they badly need it.

6. Email from any person who poses as family member of a deceased person requiring the need to transfer funds to your account..

7. Email from a sick person in bed wanting you to be the sole beneficiary of his/her will.

8. Work at Home email scams: Old scam, new format. You should immediately run from anyone who promises lots of money for little work that requires no experience. While there are companies that allow their employees to work from home, they require job skills and interviews, just like regular jobs. Work-at-home scams will ask you to purchase supplies and equipment from them to perform the "job." That's how they make their money. You will lose -- not make – money.

9. Forwarded money and donation scams through email. Example below:
Microsoft and Disney are both beta-testing an e-mail tracker and will send you money if you
forward this e-mail. The Gap is testing an e-mail tracker and will send you a gift certificate. The Red Cross is using its e-mail tracker and will donate money for some poor kid's operation or to raise funds for an orphan of Sept. 11.

Okay there are a lot of forms and disguises for these type of email scams and hoaxes and what shall we do about them? You might ask "what's the harm in forwarding an e-mail to my friends? And people on my email list?" The answer is that some of the latest hoaxes are intended to do more than just deceive you. There are some web pagea saying if it gets "a million hits" then some poor sick little girl's grandparents would donate money for her treatment. Think about it, if her grandparents had the money and their granddaughter was really sick, do you think they would wait for a web page to get a million hits? No, the only thing that is sick is the person who put that site up. Was it just a prank to get a million hits? Absolutely not. The page had a revenue generating ad banner on it. Everytime someone visited that page the guy made money, even more if the visitor clicked on the ad banner. The danger of a scam like this is that as people begin to catch on, they will be less trusting of legitimate sites that have an honest message. So they will likely NOT trust those legitimate sites.

10. That is not all folks, it gets even worse. Con artists on the net are finding better ways to make money off the gullibility of well meaning people. The latest scam is online petitions. You are presented with some legitimate sounding cause and told that when a million people sign the petition, it will be presented to some organization or perhaps an elected official. Note: some of these petitions are real, but lately there have been petitions popping-up on the web with a more sinister purpose... they are collecting e-mail addresses to sell to spammers, often porn sites. So while you think you are being a good Netizen (internet citizen) by sending all your friends to sign an important petition, in fact you are helping some low life make a buck while getting your unsuspecting friends signed-up for a ton of unwanted junk e-mail, much of it of an adult nature. And once you are on those lists you can't get off, responding with a "remove" message only informs them that they have a warm body at that e-mail address reading the spam, which increases the value of their list. A list of people who will actually open spam e-mail and respond to it is a valuable commodity which will be sold from spammer to spammer. The "fresher" the list is the more it's worth. Hence the fake "petition" pages.

11. Email claims to be from PayPal asking you to confirm your account data by clicking on the link. You will be taken to a spoof login page where your details will be captured by the phishers. PayPal never send users emails requesting details in this way. URL of spoof website disguised as "Click here to activate your account". Any email messages that may seem to come from a legitimate business source such as Ebay or Paypal, that asks you to “verify your account” and asks you for your password. Businesses do not ask you to verify your password, social security number or credit card information via email. Most often this is probably a phishing scam.

12. A Russian, Filipina, Asian or any women and men seeking online relationships. They will even talk to you online via webcam and will earn your trust but before they come to your country or meet you, they will ask for money and after that they got it from you, you will no longer contact you again. Beware of online “meat market”. There is nothing wrong with online relationships, but you should be more careful. Remember my story about Michael Roswell above?

13. The most common form of advance fee fraud is an e-mail message that claims that you have won a large sum of money, or that a person will pay you a large sum of money for little or no work on your part.

Advance fee fraud is also known as the Nigerian Letter or the 419 scam, because the scammer often claims to be from Nigeria and 419 is the Nigerian criminal code that this scam violates.
Here are a few examples of the most popular advance fee frauds:
A foreign government official would like your assistance in transferring funds and will pay you a hefty commission if you agree.

14. You stand to inherit millions of dollars from a relative you don't remember.

15. You've won a prize or a lottery (perhaps one from a foreign country) that you don't remember entering.

Warning signs and what to do with email and online scams and hoaxes:

1. Use spam filtering technology and keep unwanted emails out of your inbox by reporting them as spam.

2. Be suspicious of anything that shouts something like…“SEND THIS EMAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW”.

3. Don't make investment decisions based on anonymous e-mail or text messages you receive.

4. Anything that promises to make you rich and then asks for your credit card. DO NOT give out your credit card or Social Security Number when asked for it in an email message.

5. Don't open attachments in unsolicited e-mails. Spams are usually sent as an image or as a PDF attachment.

6. Use an Internet service provider (ISP) or e-mail provider that has implemented Sender ID Framework, a technical solution to detect and block spoofed e-mail. All of the latest versions of Microsoft e-mail software support this technology.

7. If in doubt with the person, company or links, type in and Google the website. Do not click on the links asking you for personal information.

8. Legitimate people, e-mails and web sites provide ways to contact the author, writer or webmaster. At the bottom of this page you will find my e-mail address. I will stand behind what I publish on this blog or website and will make corrections if an error is pointed out. Scam artists on the other hand, hide their identities, they fear being tracked down. Just having an e-mail address doesn't guarantee the writer is honest, free e-mail addresses are easy to come by, but if you find a site that offers no hint of the author or way to contact him/her, then be very suspicious.

9. If an e-mail or web site claims to represent some large, well known institution, then how will you know if it is really from them? For example, if an e-mail claims to be on the behalf of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, does the return address reflect that? Most of the large institutions now have web sites and their own domain names. Likewise, if you see a web page that claims to speak on behalf of the POEA, is it hosted as part of POEA's web domain (in this case: If instead it is hosted by a free service like Gmail, Yahoo, GeoCities or Xoom, or Hotmail, then watch out, because it probably isn't from who it claims to be.

10. Do not forward unnecessary emails, if the e-mail claims that it is being "tracked?" This is a sure sign of a hoax since e-mail can not be reliably tracked. Rather than helping some poor soul when you forward one of these message, you are in reality wasting precious Internet bandwidth, which in the long run COSTS all of us.

Have fun online and remember, before you forward that next chain letter, take a moment to see if it is true. Most are hoaxes and some are even hurtful. The Internet is a powerful tool for spreading information and whatever is good, but like any tool, it can cause damage if not used responsibly. So check before you forward, it only takes a few minutes.

I can't leave this email/blog post without talking about bad money relationships. Please hear me when I say that “there are some money that's not worth having” and it's not about the actual cash or monetary value, but it's about the person giving it to you and the means of getting it. If you think you have sold your soul by doing business with these people, then trust your guts and retreat. Business people are always trying to hook up with other business people, for the most part, this works in everyone's favor. Facilitating introductions, great meetings and networks. But all of these are not free. It might come as an utang na loob (gratitude) for which you have to pay back sooner or later. But it does not take long to identify whose referrals you want and whose you really cannot afford to have.

There are money relationships that you do not want to go near and will cost you in the end. Trust your instincts and your gut. A healthy respect for people blended with a bit (a bit lang ha?) of paranoia is probably a good recipe for staying safe, sound and secure.

Be safe and even if there are wolves among the sheeps, trust but be selective. Just because there are wolves out there, does not mean its not ever safe. Do not throw the baby out of the bath water or sink the ship because of the rats. Do your homework and ask for advise from trusted sources.

by Eunice Estipona

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