HOW TO SPOT A FAKE PHILIPPINE ANNULMENT LAWYER ONLINE
The age of the internet and readily available information online have spawned all types of annulment scams and schemes that have victimized those who have already been victims themselves of bad and abusive marriages . All too often, we have heard the stories of victims of so-called annulment lawyers in the Philippines. Many slowly lure their victims online, hiding behind technology and the internet to perpetrate their criminal intentions. The following are the tell-tale signs of a fake annulment lawyer in the Philippines that you would most likely encounter online.
1) The one you are communicating with is not a licensed lawyer or attorney in the Philippines. To verify , please check the Philippine Supreme Court law list at http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/baradmission/lawlist/index.php
or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) at http://www.ibp.ph/ibp%20website/html/ibp_lawlist.html YOU MAY FIND A LAWYER STILL LISTED ON THE IBP SITE BUT NOT ON THE SUPREME COURT SITE. Based on our analysis of the two lists, the Supreme Court site has been updated and deceased lawyers, and most likely those who are already disbarred , have been deleted from the list. THE IBP site may still include the names of lawyers who are already deceased or have been disbarred. SO COMPARE THE TWO LISTS. THE NAMES MUST APPEAR ON BOTH SITES;
2) If the page or website is using without permission the logo or insignia of the Philippine Supreme Court or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Only those two entities can legally use their official logos;
3) The purported lawyer named in the Facebook page or group does not have an office that you can check, or may indicate an office that does not have a landline number, an official website, or a complete office address, OR IT MAY HAVE THESE BUT YOU CANNOT VERIFY THE EXISTENCE WHEN YOU CHECK;
4) The annulment attorney in the Philippines whom your are communicating with on the page or group does not want to meet with you in person or through a partner or associate attorney if you are dealing with a law firm ;
5) The person or office you are communicating with does not want to reduce your agreement about attorney’s fees and costs in writing;
6) The Facebook page or group does not have a Philippine bank account and insists on being paid ONLY via Western Union or other remittance services, OR the bank account is in the name of a person who is not a member of the Philippine bar based on the IBP and Supreme Court website indicated above. Banks generally check the identities of the company or person opening an account with them. If it is a law firm, banks normally require the SEC articles of incorporation and by-laws, the Mayor’s Permit to operate within the address indicated on the page or group;
7) The person you are communicating with answers your specific questions by commenting or replying where the communication can be viewed by the public , instead of by message or email. Lawyers are bound by their oath to observe confidentiality with clients and if the policy of the Facebook page or group is to make your communications public then you are most likely not dealing with a genuine Philippine annulment lawyer or attorney;
8) THESE ARE NOT ALL THE WARNING SIGNS. THERE MAY BE OTHERS THAT WE ARE NOT YET AWARE OF. THE IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS TO CHECK, CHECK, CHECK.