Latest Stories

The Consumer

The ID does not make the offer genuine


The generosity and perseverance of people “desperate” to share a fourth or a third of their stashed millions of dollars with “trustworthy, God-fearing and charitable” individuals is boundless.

Before e-mail, they sent their generous offers by snail mail. But now it seems ordinary e-mail does not get recipients excited anymore, so they have repackaged their offer.

Recently, I received an e-mail from somebody who identified himself as “Sir William Patey, a former ambassador of the United Kingdom.” Like previous offers, he was eager to give me a share of $9.7 million he made in an oil deal with Iraqis. Of course, he wanted my help in getting that money, promising me 20 percent of the amount, the rest to be invested here in the Philippines.

This time, however, the e-mail sender attached an identification card “for you to know whom you are dealing with and please do not disclose my identity because I am a public figure.”

I decided to pass on the e-mail to the British Embassy, which was fortunate. It turned out there was indeed a William Patey, who had already retired from the foreign service but was not likely to be in possession of $9.7 million. From what I gathered, he was a hardworking, honest and decent diplomat who would not have gotten involved in shady deals.

Why he was chosen by the online scam artists is a mystery for Scotland Yard to unravel.

UK Embassy warning

Colin Glen, second secretary of the British Embassy Manila, categorically branded the Patey e-mail a scam and said it was “criminal in its intent and is an international problem.” He said that he had given a copy of the e-mail to the British police so they could investigate.

Glen also warned against many other scams as mentioned in an advisory from the UK government (http://www.gov.uk/living-in-the-philippines#scams), which is excerpted here:

“There is an increasing number of scams in the Philippines purportedly involving the British Embassy or a British national in need of assistance.

“Persons claiming to be members of the UK Diplomatic Service, the British Embassy or our honorary consul have been targeting individuals in the Philippines, asking for money for various services. These may include offering assistance or services related to visas or passports, handling mail or asking for help for people who are in hospital or having difficulties with immigration or customs. In all cases, they seek an advance payment of some form.

“Members of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service and British Embassy employees are not authorized to accept payments for services. Payments for any services are made to our official account at our offices or, in the case of visas, through our accredited agent VFS.

Other scams

“We are also aware of a scam involving a request for payment to release a parcel that has been sent via the diplomatic bag. Please note that the British Embassy never accepts parcels for the general public.

“There are also scams purportedly involving British nationals in distress…perpetrated…more popularly through e-mails, text messages, Internet chat rooms and online dating agencies. After gaining the victim’s confidence…someone sends an e-mail, text or makes a phone call to say that their friend…is in trouble and in immediate need of funds.

“The methods used to persuade victims to send money are very convincing…

“Scams come in many forms, and can pose great financial loss to victims. We therefore strongly advise you to exercise prudence and seek the assistance of the British Embassy before responding to the request for help from somebody you do not really know.”

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Consumer Issues , E-mail Scam , Lifestyle

  • mamer2

    Unsolicited advice.., like unsolicited donations &/or grants &/or gifts should be treated just the same.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  2. Lover’s quarrel linked to hunger – study
  3. Encounter with a ‘Mangkukulam’
  4. ‘Kamias’ for fever, ‘siling labuyo’ for headache–first aid in the kitchen
  5. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  6. Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. ‘Heaven is for Real’: Nonfiction book on life after death reaches screen
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  8. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors


  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Aquino to stay at home during Lenten holidays
  • Man charged with hoax near marathon finish line
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday