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131 online scammers arrested from 2022 to 2023: PNP

By NICK GARCIA Published Feb 23, 2024 8:22 pm

The Philippine National Police Anti Cybercrime Group (ACG) has arrested over a hundred online scammers in the past two years.

ACG Director Sidney Hernia said that of 131 online scammers, 66 of them were apprehended in entrapment operations from 2022 to 2023.

The other 65 scammers were apprehended based on warrants of arrests.

Some 284 cases of swindling or estafa, in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Law, were also filed against suspects.

The scammers, Hernia said, use email or social media to get targets. They use fictitious accounts, making it difficult to identify them.

He urged the public to be vigilant, while warning scammers to stop.

“While the allure of quick financial gain may seem tempting,” Hernia said, “the reality is that online scams not only harm innocent victims but also carry severe legal consequences.”

In 2023, the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) released the 2023 Asia Scam Report, which found that the Philippines is the highest in that category among 11 Asian economies with a rate of 35.9%.

Filipino online shoppers are particularly vulnerable to scams, with nearly 25% responding too quickly to scammers' demands and over 20% taking risks despite uncertainty. It also said that shoppers sometimes get enticed with incentives or get duped by their relatives.

The report also revealed that SMS message is the most popular channel for scammers in the Philippines with 80.8%, while Facebook (72.3%) is the top digital platform that aggregates the risk of getting scammed.