“I get a ton of scam emails. But instead of deleting them, I decided to hit reply.” –James Veitch
Last Monday, April 9, Edeza, a female TV host from Iloilo in the Philippines confirmed to this writer she was “finalizing” the release of her money worth $2,000 (P101,040) for investment in “Bitcoin” ran by a New York-based Filipino friend.
“I was told my money will earn $300 (P15,606) every 15 days,” the TV host told this writer. “Amazing and very exciting.”
Edeza claimed several of her Filipino friends in New York and New Jersey have already earned a windfall after investing in Bitcoin.
“They showed to me their evidence in a form of checks that they received,” Edeza disclosed. “More of our friends are planning to put their money in Bitcoin.”
She was about to meet the Bitcoin orchestrator that morning and hand over her $2,000 when she was dissuaded by a female friend who had misgivings about the investment scheme.
Over lunch, the concerned friend was hard-pressed to convince Edeza to abandon the investment in Bitcoin.
A day later on April 10, the Philippine media reported that the couple engaged in a P900-million pyramid scam, passed off as a Bitcoin investment scheme, had been arrested after an entrapment operation in Ilocos Sur recently.
Edeza called me up and reported that after watching the news of the couple’s arrest, she decided to cancel her investment in a New York-based Bitcoin investment scheme.
“Although I had been warned by concerned friends, I didn’t believe them until I saw the news of the couple’s arrest on television,” Edeza confirmed.
Edeza theorized Arnel and Leonady Ordonio, the arrested couple, were connected with the Bitcoin group that earlier managed to convince her in Queens, New York.
There was no immediate evidence that would link the couple to the “Bitcoin” group in New York but Edeza’s friends cautioned other would-be investors to first check the veracity of the orchestrators’ claims that they’re legitimate and are not engaged in monkey business.
The Ordonio couple was charged with estafa/swindling and syndicated estafa in the Department of Justice and remained in the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
One-time scam victim, PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa, who advised the public not to fall for investment schemes promising huge returns, quipped, ”If you encounter a scheme that is too good to be true–offering a huge interest rate–that’s a scam. Don’t be fooled.”
Edeza, 51, said she would now divert her money to build a four-door apartment worth P3 million in the Philippines.
“My $2,000 may not be too big, but the amount can help defray the initial expenses in the apartment that I plan to build,” Edeza concluded./WDJ