By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — Joint operatives of PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group and Tarlac City Municipal Police Station arrested a male suspect who allegedly swindled P400,000 from his latest victim inside a mall in Barangay Cutcut 1, Tarlac City on Monday, PNP Officer-in-Charge Police Lieutenant General Jose Chiquito Malayo said.
Citing the report from Police Brigadier General Joel B Doria, Director PNP-ACG, Malayo said the action stemmed after a male victim reported to PNP ACG office in Camp Crame that he received a message from a certain Janifer Natalia through social media site about a package containing USD 1.2 million, however it was found out to be a fraud.
Initial report disclosed that the victim and the suspect became friends since April 19, 2022, with the suspect introducing himself as Lieutenant Janifer Natalia, a member of US Army assigned in Yemen, in a social media account under the name “Janifer Natalia”.
Further investigation revealed that the victim received series of text messages from unregistered number since June 8, 2022, introducing herself as Lucy Diaz, a staff of Bureau of Customs demanding payment of customs duties and surcharges prior to the release of the parcel.
“The victim believed that he was communicating with a real person, so he was convinced to send the money amounting to 400 hundred thousand thru money wire transfer, e-wallet and bank transactions,” Malayo explained.
After series of transactions, the alleged staff of BOC still demanded large amount of money from the victim which prompted him to report the incident to PNP ACG.
“Ang ating patuloy na paalala sa ating publiko ay maging maingat sa paggamit ng social media, maging mapagmatyag at huwag agad magtiwala sa mga estrangherong nakakausap lalo na kapag may kasamang pera na ang usapan. Kung ikaw ay nabiktima, magsampa lamang ng reklamo sa ating PNP ACG offices o sa viber number 09618298083 or tumawag sa (02)7230401 Local 7491,” Malayo said.
Sa ilalim ng ating MKK=K Program ay sinisiguro nating ang buong kapulisan sa bansa ay mas mabilis na matutugunan ang pangangailangan seguridad para sa kaligtasan ng buong sambayanan,” he further added.
The arrested suspect and a partner will be charged for violation of Art. 178 (Using Fictitious Name and Concealing True Name) and Art. 315 (Swindling/Estafa) as amended by R.A. No. 10951, in relation to Section 6 of R.A. No. 10175 also known as Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. (ai/mtvn)