DFA warns public vs passport scams via social media

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 24 2021 02:56 PM

 

MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday reminded the public that it does not use social media, especially Facebook, in confirming passport appointments, saying this is unauthorized. 

In an advisory, the DFA said passport applications can only be made through its official appointment system

"The DFA reiterates that it does not use Facebook or any other social media network to offer or confirm passport application appointments nor it has authorized any company or individual to offer and accept passport appointment scheduling on the Department’s behalf," DFA's advisory read. 

The agency did not say whether they received complaints on passport appointment offers on social media, but this development came as Metro Manila and surrounding provinces Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, and Cavite (NCR Plus) remained under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), limiting movement.

Most commercial establishments and even government agencies are shut or are operating with limited workforce under this quarantine level.

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The agency also warned Filipinos that offers by unauthorized individuals and other private organizations through social media could be scams.

"Those who engage the services... run the risk of not getting an authentic appointment or issues with their passport application, aside from incurring additional expenses," the DFA noted.

"The public is strongly advised to ignore offers from these companies or individuals and to use only the official passport appointment system maintained by the DFA." 

Meanwhile, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, overseas Filipino workers "and other qualified individuals," DFA said, could set their appointments through the courtesy lane facility by sending an email to their nearest consular office (CO) or through oca.cl@dfa.gov.ph. 

It also urged the public to check the agency's latest advisories and their local government's announcements regarding community quarantine guidelines and entry requirements for an appointment with a CO. 

The areas under NCR Plus will remain under MECQ until the end of the April.