The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued a public warning Thursday to beware of forged BSP documents being passed off by scammers or criminals to dupe financial consumers.

 “The BSP warns the public against individuals or groups presenting fake documents which they claim to be under the custody of the BSP and/or other government agencies,” the BSP said in an advisory. 

The BSP singled out phony documents with fictitious Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT)1 messages where “relevant information such as counterparty names, addresses and the amount involved are tampered with.” 

 “Such document may be used by fraudsters and scammers to lure the public to invest with the promise of huge returns or ‘double-your- money’ schemes,” said the BSP.

The BSP clarified the following: that it does not hold or safekeep documents and other financial instruments for individuals, corporations, foundations, or non-profit organizations; and it does not transact with individuals and entities at random; and

SWIFT messages between banks and counterparties do not pass through the BSP.

Red flags to warn the public of fabricated SWIFT messages normally include following: the amount involved is extremely large; sender/recipient details (such as name, codes and address) do not match; and message formats do not conform with SWIFT standards.

The BSP also said scams would look like the following: the investment offers quick returns that are “too good to be true”; the investment company provides limited contact details, does not have a legitimate business email and uses free mail services, and no legitimate office address; the public would come to know of the unsolicited investment offer by telephone, email, flyers, newspaper advertisements, or directly from a person or company that you have not heard of before; or the investment offers issuance of promissory notes or post-dated checks to ensure payment of earnings.

 “It is important to conduct the necessary due diligence prior to committing to an investment opportunity,” said the BSP.  “Try to gather and verify as much information regarding the company offering the investment. Relevant information includes business address, contact numbers (preferably landline and not mobile numbers), company officers and contact persons, among others. Furthermore, check if the company is authorized to sell investment instruments, such as securities, bonds, commercial papers, or similar financial instruments,” added the BSP. And lastly, it said that “research on the investment scheme being offered through the internet” is important. “There is a vast source of information online regarding different forms of fraud and scams,” said the BSP.

Source: Manila Bulletin (