A freelance model fell victim to a voice phishing group, who allegedly introduced themselves as customs personnel to extort money.
According to John Consulta's "24 Oras" report, the scammers called the victim, "Anna," through a messaging app and claimed she was involved in a crime.
“Gusto daw po nila i-confirm yung identity ko if this was me sending a parcel from Cebu to Singapore. Hinold daw po ito ng Post Office ng Cebu dahil may laman daw po na may illegal documents, 11 bank cards, isa roon nakapangalan sa akin, and 9 passbook. And all of these documents are under an illegal loan. So sinabi ko po pwede bang sabihin nila sa akin anong magagawa ko to cancel or clear my name,” Anna said.
She three individuals spoke to her over the phone. One of them introduced himself as a police officer in Cebu and threatened her with charges if she refuses to comply to their wishes.
This includes sending a photo of her passbook and transferring all of her money to an e-wallet so that the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) can verify that thy were not illegally obtained.
“Sabi nila, magsend ako hourly, oras oras ng kung nasaan ako, kung anong ginagawa ko o sinong kasama ko para matrack nila kung safe ako. So nakapagsend ako ng ilang selfies noong araw na yun. Hindi ko raw po pwedeng idisclose ang lahat ng mga impormasyong sasabihin ko kung hindi, makukulong daw po ako,” she said.
“Wala na, naibigay ko na po yung buong pera ko, siguro ang importante maprotektahan na lang ang identity ko na maari nilang gamitin sa ibang tao,” Anna added.
Meanwhile, according to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the number of victims of this fraud has increased in 2023.
“Ang basic modus nito ay yung pananakot, magpapakilala, magaassume na otoridad siya. ‘Pag natakot ka, doon na magsisimula ng paghingi ng mga impormasyon and eventually sa magtatapos ito sa paghingi ng pera,” said NBI Cybercrime Division chief Cris Paz.
Paz then reminded the public that it is important to be alert when receiving calls from people who identify themselves as police or government officials.
“Kung wala naman tayong ginagawang masama, magpapakilalang otoridad, tunawag po tayo, i-verify po natin, due dligence at presence of mind,” Paz said.—Sherylin Untalan/LDF, GMA Integrated News