Police warn public vs cybercriminals

(L-R) Lt. Col. Artemio Ricabo, OIC-chief of the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit-Police Regional Office 7, DYAR Station Manager Jimrey Biosa, and Philippine Information Agency-7 representative Hershey Zaspa discussing the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 during the Kasayuran radio program on Jan. 13, 2021. (idc/PIA7)

CEBU, Jan. 15 (PIA) -- The Anti-Cybercrime Unit of Police Regional Office (PRO-7) warned the public against falling prey to cybercriminals after online libel, scam, and identity theft were noted as the most commonly filed complaints in Central Visayas in 2020.

Lt. Col. Artemio Ricabo, officer in charge-chief of the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit (RACU) at PRO-7, said during the Kasayuran radio program that "any crime committed with the use of internet, information technology which is a violation of the Revised Penal Code, that could be a cybercrime."

For libel, the RACU-7 chief said people should avoid spreading gossip or posting libelous statements online that are damaging to a person's reputation.

For people ordering goods online, he advised them to do the following: check the reviews, check the seller if he/she is a good supplier or is legitimate, prefer cash on delivery mode of payment, and be cautious if the buyer is not familiar or does not know the seller.

To avoid falling victim to identity theft, Ricabo advised the public to be careful with posting photos or any personal information online especially on Facebook. 

He said there have been victims of "Emergency Scam" where a supposed family member "has been rushed to the hospital" and the cybercriminal impersonates another family member or relative who sends communication to a victim asking him/her to provide information, make a payment, or hand over secure details.

He advised the public to closely monitor credit card statements and immediately close compromised credit card accounts.

Ricabo also said people should not take photos or videos of scandalous acts to avoid leakage or blackmailing in the future.

He also advised parents to monitor their children's online activities to ensure their safety from online predators.

Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 was signed on Sept. 12, 2012.

The law is intended to prevent cybersex, online scamming, child pornography, spamming, among others.

The regional anti-cybercrime unit called on the public to be aware of these crimes and report cybercrime-related incidents through their hotline number 0998-598-8105 or their Facebook pages: Regional Anti-Cybercrime Office 7 and ACG Visayas. (idc/PIA7)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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