NBl, GCash charges 3 suspects with cybercrime, estafa

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested three individuals in Quezon City for violations of the Cybercrime Prevention Act and Estafa, after they swindled money from hapless victims, whose identities were also stolen. The arrests were made possible with the assistance of GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines.

Law enforcers nabbed suspects Joselito Floresca, Antonino Guevarra, and Henry Lachica for stealing money from a number of individuals. The three suspects pretended to be GCash, Grab, Lalamove, or Mr. Speedy employees. They convinced their victims that their accounts were compromised and pretended to assist them in fixing their accounts.

They asked their victims of their personal details, including the account number, mobile personal identification number (MPIN), one-time password (OTP), authentication code, birthday, and e-mail addresses. Believing they are for real, the victims gave the details needed to gain access to their accounts.

Criminal charges will be filed against the suspects for violating Republic Act No.10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and Republic Act No. 315 (Swindling) of the Revised Penal Code.

“We at the NBI do not tolerate such mischievous acts, especially now that we are experiencing a national health crisis. We will continue to work harder to catch these fraudsters,” Atty. Jeremy Lotoc, NBI Agent-on-case said.

GCash helped the NBI find the three suspects by conducting its own investigation and submitted the report to the NBI.

“Security has always been one of the pillars by which GCash operates. We have placed various levels of security including MPINs, OTPs, and other security features. But there are individuals out there who take advantage of others through various means of trickery. We highly advise our users to be very vigilant especially during situations that they deem suspicious,” Chief Risk Officer Don Nino Santos said.

Santos also advised users to never share their information to others, especially to strangers. GCash launched its Customer Protect program last year. Under the program, qualified customers are assured of compensation for unauthorized financial transactions on their GCash app, GCash on Messenger or GCash Mastercard platforms arising from instances such as stolen mobile phones or identity theft.

“Even before it became a law, GCash has put a premium on the privacy of its users. For security reasons, we advise our users to never share their personal details, MPINs, and OTPs to anyone,” Santos said.

Santos vowed that GCash will work hand in hand with the authorities to catch more people committing acts of fraud against the company and its users.

“GCash is committed to protect the interest of our users, and we will continue to intensify our drive against individuals who put our company and our users in jeopardy,” Santos said.

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