MANILA – Upon request of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Facebook has disabled three “poser” accounts illegally assuming the identity of PNP chief Gen. Camilo P. Cascolan to swindle money.
In a statement on Sunday, PNP spokesperson Col. Ysmael Yu said the police cybercrime investigators traced the poser accounts to several cases of online swindling and estafa, mostly solicitation of funds from unsuspecting victims purportedly for social welfare and humanitarian projects.
PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) director Brig. Gen. Marvin Manuel Pepino said three flagged Facebook poser accounts have been identified under the account names: “Camilo Pancratius Pikoy Cascolan”, “Camilo P Cascolan”, “Camilo Cascolan”, misrepresenting the page as owned by the PNP chief.
PNP-ACG has initiated investigation and case buildup on the activities of persons behind the identified bogus Facebook accounts, and requested social networking giant to takedown these pages to prevent possible further illegal activities.
Facebook’s Law Enforcement Outreach manager Rob Abrams confirmed to the PNP-ACG that Facebook has disabled all three poser accounts.
“These fake accounts have been active in social networks enticing Facebook users to donate funds purportedly to purchase computer tablets for students in urban poor communities for online classes,” Pepino said.
Pepino also said four persons of interest have been summoned to appear before the Regional Field Units of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) as part of ongoing investigations into fake Facebook accounts using the identity of PNP chief in online scam activities.
He added that the joint ACG-CIDG investigation seeks to further develop facts and new inputs to identify the personalities behind online scam operations using these bogus Facebook accounts.
Those behind these fake Facebook accounts may face criminal charges for violation of Sec. 4 (b) 3 of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, for identity theft; and Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code for Swindling or Estafa (Online Scam), Pepino explained. (PNA)