Globe, PNP, NBI help arrest bogus online seller


DIGITAL services provider GCash on Thursday said that with the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP), they were able to arrest a fake online seller making transactions using the social media app Facebook.

“Thanks to its collaboration with the Cyber Response Unit and the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG), GCash aided top law enforcement authorities in tracking down and arresting a fake FB online seller who stole the victim’s money after failing to deliver the purchased item,” Globe said.

According to Globe, the complainant said she tried to buy an iPhone from the suspect, Rachelle Luzon, 21, from Caloocan City.

The suspects and the ‘fishy’ accounts are believed behind anomalous transactions that were done by the suspects with their victims on social media and digital storefronts.

The police report said that the suspect sent her identification card including her parent’s IDs to gain the victim’s trust.

Convinced that the suspect was a legitimate online seller, the victim sent P4,500 as an initial payment for the iPhone which never arrived.

The victim reported the incident to the authorities and informed the investigators that, to entrap the suspect, she used the Facebook account of her friend to purchase an iPhone from the suspect who agreed to a meet-up.

The suspect was caught in the entrapment operation by the Cyber Response Unit and the PNP-ACG, with marked boodle money amounting to P5,000 inside a fast food chain in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Luzon is facing charges for violating Article 315 or (swindling/estafa) of the Revised Penal Code in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 Sec. 6 of R.A. 10175.

Globe said in a statement that they recently blocked over 900,000 accounts believed involved in fraud.

Likewise, GCash said that they inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)and helped arrest top online scammers

Globe reminded customers to always check the payment terms of the seller, and when possible, transact with those that give the option to pay after the product or service is rendered.

For added security and safety, GCash urged customers to always ask the seller for their contact details and demand for an official or acknowledgment receipt for proof of transaction.

Meanwhile, GCash vice president for corporate affairs Gilda Maquilan said that the funds that were affected by what they dubbed as a “sophisticated phishing” should already be back in their accounts.

Globe maintained that there were no hacking incident that occurred.

“This is a phishing incident and not hacking… The fraudster attempted to link a device,” GCash vice president for corporate affairs Gilda Maquilan said.

GCash’s investigation showed that the phishing operation gathered information and used the one-time-passwords generated simultaneously on May 8.

Catherine R. Cueto

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