Ion Gonzaga was alarmed to see his photos used in a fake Facebook account.


Filipino expat in Dubai raises alarm after scammer uses his photos


DUBAI – A Filipino expatriate in Dubai has raised alarm after finding out that a scammer trying to lure investors into cryptocurrency has been using his photos in a fake Facebook account.

Ion Gonzaga, a blogger popular in the Filipino community, told on Saturday (February 20) that his friend alerted him to the dubious Facebook account under the name of a certain Patrick Songcuan.

Gongaza said he has tried to contact the administrator of the scam page to remove his photos. He has also reported the incident to Facebook.

As of Saturday, Gonzaga’s picture used as profile photo for the Facebook page has been replaced, but other photos of the Filipino blogger and his family are still visible on the page.

It appeared that Gonzaga’s photos were used to endorse the scammer’s posts on Forex and cryptocurrency trading.

“My friend called me right away when he saw my photo in a Facebook group. We were able to trace the scammer’s identity through interactions on his page and other Facebook pages,” Gonzaga told

The fake Facebook profile was created in April last year, but Gonzaga’s photos were only uploaded starting on February 10, he said.

The Filipino said that the experience has made him think twice about what he puts on social media to avoid identity theft.

“Even if you have the highest privacy settings, fraudsters can still find ways to target you. Just make sure that any content or media you put up there doesn’t pose any harmful risk to you,” he said.

Gonzaga said he is now wary about accepting random friend requests in order to minimize the risk of being targeted by scammers.

“I used to have 5,000 friends on Facebook. Now, I have narrowed that down to 2,600 people. I will be deleting more,” he told PIA/Expat Media

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