She’s back? The photo of a frail looking woman who was looking for blood donation for her child went viral – again – this week after several netizens tagged her a scammer, and worse, a syndicate’s arm who allegedly lures people towards a bus stop or a corner where a waiting vehicle is ready to forcibly take a victim.
Based on last year’s report from Social Trends PH, the 74-year-old woman in the viral photo— who appears to be old and weak – was identified as Herminia Morales; who roams the streets of Metro Manila, allegedly looking for blood donors for her child whom she said is suffering from leukemia.
To quote the post which calls for help: They had conversed and found out that her name is Herminia Morales, 74 years old. Asking for help to someone who can donate a blood with type “A” for daughter named Helena Flores that is currently in the hospital suffering from Leukemia. They are currently in “Ospital ng Makati” (OSMAK).
In the same report, it was shared that the woman would not accept the money, because she needed type “A” blood, not cash. The concerned citizen thought this was honorable of the old lady, so she posted the story and the photo on Facebook, in hopes that someone could help.
However, a certain Abbie Santos revealed that the old lady is not really someone who needed help but part of a syndicate who try to prey on innocent people by asking for blood donations. She shared that she was almost victimized in 2010 under the same ploy.
Well, the old woman’s photo is making the rounds on social media sites again, after netizens, who shared that they helped her personally, took turns in sharing their experiences with the lady whom they helped out of mercy.
“Beware of this woman”
“Beware of this woman,” warned an FB user named Angeles, on her Facebook post last April 19; cautioning others to be wary of the woman in the post.
Angeles said that she met Morales along the streets of Metro Manila recently. “She was crying and begging for a blood donation for her daughter who is confined at Ospital ng Makati (Makati Hospital) because of Leukemia.”
Despite Morales’ insistence to accompany her to the hospital for possible blood donation, Angeles, however, opted not to go with her as she was with her son and nanny who were already waiting for her, and instead gave the old woman her money amounting to P160 — a move which Angeles thought have momentarily appeased Morales of her desperate situation.
But upon returning home, Angeles learned later through her daughter that accompanying Morales might have dragged her into a worrisome scenario.
“I am thankful that I was with my son and his nanny at the time because who knows what would have happened to me if I went with her and I’m also thankful for my daughter for informing me of this possible scam,” said Angeles.
As of posting, the viral photo has hit more than 87, 300 shares on Facebook and counting.
On Angeles’ post, a commenter named Jennifer shared that she, too, was approached by the old woman in the Photo:
The same old woman who approached me infront of Corinthian Plaza and greenbelt 1. Good thing naalala ko a story I read here sa fb about an old woman looking for blood donors somewhere in shaw blvd. na modus.. kaya tumanggi ako. Buti nothing bad happened to you. Hirap na din ngayon kahit gusto mo tumulong [It’s so hard to trust nowadays even if you want to help..]
Another netizen, Jesamine Dugan, a resident of Muntinlupa City, shared that she met the same old woman at Global City. Like Angeles, she gave Morales some money because she pitied her.
“I asked her how much would it be if she would just buy a bag of blood. She said P800. It broke my heart; I was really moved and I’m pretty sure with that drama, she was able to victimized many.”
Meanwhile, in a separate report by Wheninmanila, it was also disclosed that Morales also sought the help of another person somewhere in Taguig City, citing the same situation. The report said the call for help looked “genuine.”
Whether she is just after monetary gains or acts as “trap” to draw victims towards a waiting vehicle for who knows what, this old woman should be summoned by authorities as soon as possible and be fully investigated considering the number of victims who have identified her as being the same woman in various incidents. If she’s innocent, then it would be worth her while to clear her name and face, and to put this story behind. If she’s not, then this is something for the authorities to work on in the name of public safety.