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PNP cybercrime group warns public on online scamming

By Mark A. Gomez

The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) in Camarines Sur warned Bicolanos to be more cautious in buying products online as cases of scams victimizing online shoppers have significantly increase in the province.

According to MSgt. Leah Rivera Sancha of PNP-ACG, an average of 10 cases of online scamming cases per day are reported to their office.

Sancha said the modus operandi of the scammers is that they will post in social media a product that looks like genuine yet low cost. Once their potential victim showed interest on the product, they will request the latter to make advance payment citing as reason that they needed money to ship the product.

Next, the scammers will provide their bank account details or account number in different payment platform and instruct the victim to deposit the payment. Once the victim pays the cost of the product, the scammer will promise to ship the product with a discount.

Sancha said the scammers will tell the victim that they have shipped the product and showed the latter a falsified shipment receipt. Once they get the payment, the scammers will deactivate their social media accounts and disappear without a trace.

She said the limited movement of people due to the pandemic gave these unscrupulous individuals the opportunity to scam and rob people of their hard earned money.

The PNP ACG official said that online scamming is hard to resolve because of the difficulty in tracking the details of the transaction. The scammers also are very hard to identify due to their false personal information.

Sancha said that in order to avoid being victimized by online scamming, online shoppers should first check the background or personal details of the sellers. Payment should also be made through banks and through cash on delivery.

She added that with the easing of travel restrictions, it is much better to personally buy products in shopping malls or stores.

The PNP-ACG conducts information dissemination in various villages and schools to raise awareness about the various kinds of cybercrimes and how to avoid them.


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