GMA-7 star Rocco Nacino bared that he was almost scammed out of P10,000 by someone posing as fellow actor Gabby Eigenmann.
In a now-deleted Instagram post, Nacino shared screenshots of a conversation on Telegram with a user bearing Eigenmann's name and photos. The poser was asking to borrow money from the actor because his bank was supposedly down.
Nacino admitted that he almost fell for this as he just woke up, but then realized that his friend has more money than him. He also got in touch with Eigenmann himself to confirm whether it was really him.
"Alam ko mayaman 'tong si brother Gabby at kung meron man uutang, ako dapat 'yon sa kanya," he wrote on Instagram.
The actor continued the conversation to get the number of the impostor who was asking for money to be sent via GCash. He then checked and found that the contact details belonged to a "Sabina M."
"Sa taong ito, sana makonsensya ka sa ginagawa mo at karma na ang bahala sa'yo. Kung kailangan mo ng pera, gumawa ka ng tamang paraan para makaipon. Hindi lahat nasho-shortchut," Nacino said.
"It's sad to know that may mga gumagawa talaga ng ganito. Sana imaging aral ito para sa'tin lahat na mag-ingat palagi at magkaroon ng presence of mind lalo na 'pag pera na ang usapan."
Eigenmann also shared the screenshots on his Instagram, warning the public to not entertain messages from the account.
"Kung sino ka man, tigilin mo na ang pangloloko sa mga tao, mas doble ang balik sa karma," he said.
Nacino also told his followers to "triple check" who their talking to, especially if money is involved.
How to stay safe from catfish scams
Like the steps the Kapuso actor took, if you get messages from someone—even if they're your family or friend—asking for money, make sure it's really them. Call to check with your family member or friend using the number you have of theirs in your contacts.
If you were reached online through chat apps like Telegram, you can check to see if the contact number with the imposter account is the same one you have in your contacts. If it's just a username, it might be best to reach the person through another messaging app.
In addition, don't open any suspicious links sent by the fraudster, and don't give out your banking details. If they give you a number to send cash to, check the name on the account first.
To avoid scams in general, it's a good practice to keep your personal information, like phone numbers and email addresses, private. You should also think twice when someone is asking to borrow a large sum of money online through chat.