The article below was first posted on TRS. You can go on and read it. Singapore being one of the most connected and internet savvy nation, it is not a surprise that these scammers are targeting Singapore users being their next choice in their list. You can easily spot them in various social networks such as Facebook, Tagged and other form of social media requesting to exchange Skype address, Facebook video chats etc. Mostly will use Skype. Now i know the other reason why these people switch from Yahoo Messenger to Skype – the reasons could not be more obvious 🙂 ?
Read with open mind. I also added some Youtube videos of related topics.
Article from TheRealSingapore (TRS)
I’d been to the Philippines on several occasions, so I already knew the culture more than my companion. I’ll call him Joe. That’s what the people of the Philippines call anyone who’s white. You don’t have your own identity over there. You’re all the same. Joe
Anyway, Joe and I were working with a relief group, doing humanitarian work, mostly handing out shoes, simple medicines and toys to children in the many squatter barangays (that means neighborhoods) scattered around the island nation. It was rewarding work, though it got frustrating, pushing away the drunken adult men who would cling to you, demanding you give them cash or buy them alcohol.
We never gave cash with my relief group, because we knew it would go straight for drinks, but that’s true even here in England ain’t it? So many of the down and out being so because of their lifestyle? Try giving ‘em a hand up and they take it as a hand out, and off to the packing store for a box of beer.
Anyway, we were in a ripe dirty squatter’s barangay, stepping over dog doo and giving away slippers, when one of the most beautiful girls Joe or I had ever seen in our lives comes walking out of an internet cafe across the street. She’d seen us through the window and came over to “be seen” more than anything.
You’ll see “the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen in your life” about a dozen times a day in the Philippines, so I’d gotten used to it and didn’t make much fuss of it when she came over to say hello. This was Joe’s first time there though, and he was in love. Head over heals. He could hardly talk, and boy did she like that. She pranced around and batted her long, beautiful eyelashes and high-fived all her friends that were laughing it up.
“You are so handsome,” she said to Joe, coming over to speak. He couldn’t even respond.
“Dako bil-bil,” she said to her friend beside her, and everyone laughed and a new round of high-fiving ensued.
“What’d she say, mate?” Joe asked, knowing I spoke the local language, Visayan.
“She called you fat,” I said.
“But she just said I was handsome?” he said, coming out of his beauty inspired trance.
“Forget ‘er, mate,” I said. “She’s a chat girl.”
“A what?” he said, proving he’d just stepped off the plane in Manila a week ago.
“A chat girl,” I said again. “She makes a killin’ off spending a few hours a day in the online chat rooms, scamming lonely old men in the West out of their social security and disability checks.”
“They’re not all like that,” Joe said, defensively. He’d already determined to be this young lass’ knight in shining armor and had picked up the local’s excuse always given when a visitor to their country, or “foreigner” as they call them, finds out he’s been scammed every other time he’s turned around.
“Did I say they’re all like that?” I said, the “foreigners” response to the implication that he’s a racist anytime he calls out a local scammer.
“Forget her,” I said.
We passed out the rest of our slippers then started to leave. As we passed the chat room where the beauty had been hard at work and to where she’d returned for her next online appointment while we worked, she came to the door and told us good-bye. All the other girls in the chat room, almost just as beautiful as her, laughed. You could hear the “Hey Joe, give me money’s” in the background combine with the chuckles.
“Anyway, I already have a foreigner,” she said to Joe. “I don’t need your money.”
Poor Joe. He looked heartbroken. For a fleeting moment he’d thought this young Filipina beauty viewed his as something more than an ATM machine. A human being, perhaps. I almost said, “See, I told you so,” but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I said, “Yeah, I bet you have a dozen or more of ‘em Western Unioning you money,” to the girl. She said, “Wha!” and made an ugly face. The way of saying, “screw you” without flipping the bird over there.
A week later, Joe and I were out to dinner after a hard day’s work. We’d given away nearly 500 pairs of shoes to peasant children that day, and in spite of the run-ins with the men who wanted more tuba (coconut wine) we were feeling good about our efforts.
Joe had his heart-broken half a dozen more times since that day a week before, but he was coming around to the reality of our surroundings in that beautiful, Southeast Asian nation- the land of little brown beauties as I call it.
We were sippin’ on some ice-cold San Miguel Lights when she walked in. Not just the most beautiful girl we’d ever seen in our lives, but the very one from the week before. And she had an entourage with her.
A white guy, who looked to be in his late 60′s, even though she herself could not have yet been twenty, and about a dozen Filipinos- no doubt her family being taken out to be wined and dined by the “foreigner” she’d gotten to come over from somewhere, were with her.
After the party sat down, the beauty queen glanced over and saw Joe and me staring at her with big smirks on our faces. Her eyes got big as an Elk in the headlights of BMW (those cars’ frames were built to withstand hitting Elk, don’t ya know?) when she saw us.
She rubbed her little hands all over the old guy’s legs and rubbed his back and played with his hair while they ordered their food. He and her were the only ones who ordered solid food. The village she’d brought with her just ordered litro bottles of Red Horse beer all around. High-fives went all around as well when the bottles were served.
After the village was served their booze, and they got into drinking and telling their host how handsome he was in English, then proceeding to make fun of his “big nose” in Visayan, she got up and walked our way. She gave us a “shhhh!” with her finger to her lips as she passed our table on her way to the restroom. C.R. as they call ‘em over there. That means ‘comfort room.’
I followed her and I told her in her own language that I’d keep my mouth shut but she owed me a favor. She rolled her eyes, expecting I’d want a quick throw, but that weren’t it. I told her I’d take an interview. Just that I wanted to ask her some questions on how she does what she does, and how affective she is at doing it.
She rolled her eyes again, as if she’d preferred a throw, but she agreed. I guess the old timer with her that night was really bank rollin’ the family and didn’t want me to blow her cover.
Anyway, we met a week later, and here, in interview form, are the questions I asked and the answers she gave. She pretty much confirmed what I already knew, but now I had the facts.
Me (henceforth ‘Joe’): How many men do you chat with regularly online.
Her (Hence forth Filipina): I chat five guys. One in England, One in Canada, three in U.S.
Joe: How old are they?
Filipina: One thirty five. The rest in sixties.
Joe: Do they all send you money?
Filipina: Of course! I am not stupid! You think I waste time if they not send money?
Joe: In one month, how much money do you make as a chat girl?
Joe: Come on. I know you know. How much did you make last month? In pesos?
Filipina: More than two hundred thousand.
*(Author’s note- this is roughly $5,000.00 U.S. in a country where the average monthly income is $150)
Joe: Wow! That’s nearly 50 times the average salary of your countrymen! What do you do with all that money?
Filipina: I take care my family.
Joe: Is that who was with you the other night at the restaurant when you had that old dude with you?
Joe: Which one was your husband?
Filipina: Man sitting on other side of foreigner. He my husband.
Joe: Who did the foreigner think he was?
Filipina: My brother.
Joe: Did you have sex with the old guy?
Filipina: Of course! You think he still give me money if he come here and I do not?
Joe: What does your Filipino husband think of that?
Filipina: Why he care? He has girlfriends.
Joe: Even though you make all that money, you still live in a squatter’s barangay in a bamboo shack with a dirt floor and dog crap all over the yard. Why don’t you increase your lifestyle? You aren’t going to be young and beautiful forever. Why not use the money to get out of the hell you live in?
Filipina: Foreigner is all the same! You think we want nice house! Nice car! That is what you want! If I have my family and my foods I am happy! My family. We use my money for happiness.
Joe: So it goes for partying? Pig roasts and alcohol?
Filipina: Yes. It’s more fun in the Philippines!
Joe: Do all of your chat mates come see you?
Filipina: No. Only two. I always come up with excuse other three believe. Foreigner believe anything. Why?
Joe: Well, where we come from, generally, when someone tells you something, it’s the truth. We don’t operate the way you do. Dishonesty is not deeply engrained and accepted in our culture. We actually view it as a bad thing.
Filipina: How I operate? I take care my family.
*At this point, our conversation faded, as she didn’t take too keenly to my comparison of Western Culture versus hers. So there’s no need continuing the tale. She asked for a thousand pesos and offered me a throw, but I told her with the money she made she should pay me for a throw. She didn’t get the joke, so I just said, “no thank you,” and wished her well on her way.
All I’ll add to this story is that if you are a man in the West, and you spend time chatting with some beautiful young thing in the Philippines online, and you think you’re the only one she’s talking to?
You are a bloody fool!
If you believe she loves you? And gives a care in the world for anything other than your Western Union transfers?
You’re an even bloodier fool!