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Public warned vs raffle promo scam

The Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation has warned the public against text and online scams using Sen. Cynthia A. Villar’s name and that of the foundation.

The misleading post on Facebook under a fake account and page “Villar Foundation Libreng Pabahay 2018” invites people to like and share its page to qualify for a supposed raffle of a house on Dec. 31. The original post has since been taken down as well as the re-shared posts.

“Similar posts may resurface on social media and other platforms. We urge everyone to be more discriminating and do not believe or repost everything they see online. We will continue to be vigilant against scammers to prevent them from victimizing unsuspecting people,” said Villar.

She added that this is not the first time that text scams were circulated to malign the Villar name and their foundation.

In 2010, text messages claiming to be from Sen. Manuel B. Villar Jr.’s alleged housing foundation “Handog-Pabahay sa OFW” and promising cash rewards for Overseas Filipino Workers circulated.

Similar text messages have been circulating on and off. It can be traced back during the campaign period for the presidential elections in 2010 and then resurfaced during the campaign period for the national elections in 2013 when Sen. Villar and Las Piñas City Rep. Villar ran for president and senator, respectively.

The Villar family has since coordinated with authorities, mainly the National Bureau of Investigation, to report the text messages, which promise cash prizes from a supposed raffle promo.

“The scammers even include in the message raffle permit numbers from the Department of Trade and Industry and the name of a person, who is misrepresenting himself as my lawyer or secretary, to make it appear legitimate. However, we would like to inform the public that the Villar SIPAG or Villar Foundation has no ongoing raffle promos or contests,” said Villar.

Villar SIPAG urged all those receiving the scam text message to immediately report it to their office, contact details of which can be found on its website www.villarSIPAG.org.