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FDH loses $10k in love & package scam

17 January 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

The bundled US$100 bills that Joy's lover supposedly sent her

The trick was a very old one with just a bit of twist, but another Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong has again fallen for it.

Joy, who declined to give her full name, had already sent HK $10,000 last Sunday, Jan 16, to a man who pretended to have sent her a box crammed-full of US$100 bills, but she was told to send $50,000 more, or the police would soon arrest her for money laundering.

Luckily, she turned to a world-wisely friend, Marilyn, who immediately advised Joy to stop doing the bidding of “Harry,” the man she had been chatting with online, and who had told her that he had sent her money but that it was held up in customs somewhere.


Marilyn took over the chat with “Harry,” and asked for proof that a package had been sent to Joy. She also threatened to contact a lawyer.

But the person on the other end was not fazed, saying “You have only a few hours left, the custom officers will get you arrested when they get to their office.”

“Don’t blame me, I have told you and I have given you the information you needed. Thanks.”

Harry sent this photo supposedly of himself, to Joy

It was only after Marilyn told “Harry” to stop “scamming and harassing” Joy, and threatened to notify the authorities about the United Kingdom-registered number (+44 7436617620) that he was using that the man stopped threatening her friend.

Marilyn got Joy to immediately contact Hang Seng Bank to inform it about the two account numbers given by her online lover to which she was supposed to send the money. One is in the name of someone who sounded Chinese, and another to a Filipino man.

The bank, in turn, told them to report the incident to the police so they could cooperate in apprehending the culprits, especially those holding the accounts in Hong Kong.

Pindutin para sa detalye

According to Marilyn, the scam happened after Joy somehow brought up her desire to build her own house in the Philippines during a chat with Harry, who sent her a photo supposedly showing him, along with a Cyprus-registered number: +357 95721014.

Sinabi ni Harry na padadalhan siya ng pera na pambili ng bahay,” said Marilyn. (Harry told her he would send her money so she could buy a  house).

Soon, the man whose profile picture showed a bespectacled, clean-cut man with an engaging smile, told Joy he had sent her the money.


He even sent her pictures of a thick wad of US dollar bills inside a box, as well as a video of money being put through a bill-counting machine.

These were the same photos and videos that had been sent to a number of Filipina domestic workers who were similarly scammed by men they met only online but are somehow still being used to victimize more of them.

Shortly afterwards, Harry sent an urgent message to Joy, telling her the box had been held up in customs and she needed to send $50,000 to get it released, otherwise, the police would come and arrest her for money laundering.

Naghanap ng pera ang kaibigan ko, mabuti $10k lang ang nakuha niya, pero nung tinakot at binigyan ng ilang oras para maghanap pa ng $50k doon na ako tinawagan kasi sinabihan siya na ipapupulis siya,” said Marilyn.


(My friend scampered to look for money. Luckily she managed to raise only $10,000, but when she was threatened and given only a few hours to look for $50,000 she decided to call me because she was told the police would be called to arrest her).

Harry gave a Hang Seng Bank account number in the name of a man surnamed Luo to where Joy should send money. Later, when she was threatened unless she sent more money, she was given another Hang Seng account in the name of a Filipino surnamed Ledesma.

Harry's threat, along with the bank details of R Ledesma

After taking over the chat, Marilyn threatened Harry that they had recorded all his conversations with Joy, and would forward them to the authorities.

This appeared to unnerve Harry, enough for him to revert to his previously solicitous tone in addressing Joy.

“Hello, honey. How are you? My lawyer is handling the case now,” he said in a string of messages.

“Send me those screenshot information that the diplomats sent to you…”

But after being warned and ignored repeatedly, Harry blocked Joy from his phone contacts, and also deleted the profile photo he was using.

Marilyn and Joy hope the matter will not end here. They want other Filipinas to know what happened so they will be more wary of engaging people they do not know or have not even seen in person, lest they also be scammed.

Needless to say, Joy is also hoping the bank would find a way to give her money back.

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