Some individuals are scamming students looking for boarding and lodging houses in Baguio City.
The public information office of Baguio City informed the public that the provincial city government has received reports about this scheme that targeted students looking for accommodations there.
“STUDENTS BEWARE! The city government has been alerted of a scheme victimizing students looking for boarding and lodging houses in the city perpetrated by scammers posing as owners of establishments or even residential houses,” Baguio PIO’s post reads.
The Baguio City PIO accompanied the advisory with a screenshot of a message from a resident whose house was used in the scam.
The message reads:
“Hello! There’s a scam going on regarding boarding places dito sa Baguio. Kawawa naman the students. Ilan na yung nagpunta sa house namin saying they paid reservation fee for boarding. Ginamit sa post a photo of the façade of our house.”
Students are advised to verify or talk with the owners of establishments and boarding places first before paying for their reservations.
“To avoid becoming a victim, please make verifications before agreeing to the deal. Make sure that you are transacting with the owners or owner-authorized agents of the establishments and not with poseurs,” the PIO said.
“It is advised that you negotiate with the owners personally and onsite,” it added.
They can contact Baguio City’s Permits and Licensing Division to help them via this number: 619-3184.
In the comments section, a Facebook user claimed that such a scam has become a “trend” in the city where people looking for boarding houses are the usual victims.
“Hindi lang iisang tao gumagawa nito. Nagiging trend. Mostly hindi rin mga taga rito. Umaakyat dito para magscout ng mga for rent na bahay at boarding house tapos binibiktima mga naghahanap ng matitirhan,” the user said.
Another online user also shared that she and others were victims of this scheme.
“Baka po di lang po mga students. Baka po pati mga naghahanap ng mga transient house kasi nabiktima narin po kami last July,” the Facebook user commented.
Other online users suggested ways on how to keep students studying in Baguio City safe from scammers.
“Baka pwede rin pong magkaroon ng sariling dorm ang mga universities to accommodate students coming from other provinces. Just a thought,” one Facebook user said.
“All boarding houses should register or boarding houses should be registered in a city register so the students are assured of their safety AWAY FROM THEIR HOMES,” another online user suggested.
The Summer Capital of the Philippines and other regions remains under COVID-19 Alert Level 1, the most relaxed alert level status, until August 15.
Travelers, both residents and not, can visit Baguio City by registering on Baguio Visita for their travel passes.