In an advisory on Friday, the DOST-NCR said it has received information about possible scammers using the iFWD PH program, logo and other publication materials "to acquire loans with a certain interest rate through a suspicious site/portal."
The FWD PH aims to provide opportunities to OFWs and their families to establish technology-based enterprise in the Philippines. Through this program, the DOST would provide up to PHP250,000 loan, payable in three years and with no interest.
Bianca Canlas, iFWD project leader, said they got the information from DOST Mimaropa.
"They raised this concern to us. We were also alarmed because there were applicants who were saying they will avail a loan with 3 percent interest, but the program does not ask for an interest," Canlas told the Philippine News Agency.
The possible scammers, she said, are using the site, ipwd.dost.ph, which looks quite similar to the correct portal, ifwdph.dost.gov.ph.
She said the incorrect link no longer directs the users to a supposed iFWD page. However, Canlas noted that the possible scammers may also be using other links, hence the office issued an advisory.
The DOST-NCR urges the OFWs to take precaution against fraudsters who are using the DOST or any of its programs, she said.
Canlas also said the DOST has been using just one iFWD portal where an OFW could send application to avail of the program.
Those who may encounter possible scam are encouraged to coordinate with DOST regional offices, she said. (PNA)