The Department of Justice has warned the public against unscrupulous people collecting payments for fraudulent deliveries.
The DOJ through the Office of Cybercrime advised the public to destroy the personal information attached to their delivered pouches and boxes to avoid being victimized by unscrupulous people collecting paymentsfor false deliveries.
It noted that many people have turned to the convenience of online shopping to purchase items since they are unable to physically shop to protect themselves from being infected with COVID-19 virus.
Unfortunately, some unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of the online purchase craze to dupe people. They present themselves as couriers to deliver items that were never ordered and collect money.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police has tapped its Anti-Cybercrime Group to investigate social media pages allegedly offering fast passport appointments for a fee.
This, after the Department of Foreign Affairs requested the assistance of the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation to get to the bottom of the scam.
“The DOJ-Office of Cybercrime received reports regarding the current modus operandi of perpetrators representing themselves as couriers, which target victims by delivering and demanding payment for parcels that were allegedly bought online by the latter,” the department said in a Facebook post.
To avoid being victimized, the Office of Cybercrime posted on its Facebook page some suggestions for the public to apply to protect themselves from such modus operandi.
The DOJ-OOC advised the buyers “to properly dispose of pouches and/or boxes of the parcels containing your personal information. Parcels containing personal and sensitive information should be shredded in a crosscut, diamond-cut or confetti-cut manner.
“As an alternative, the information on these pouches and/or boxes may also be retracted by covering the same using pens or markers with dark permanent ink.”
The DOJ said the public should also refrain from sharing personalinformation online, especially if their online account was not set to private.
They should also check their account with the official online selling platform to check existing orders for delivery. If they are not expecting any delivery, they should not receive the parcel or box, and should not pay for the item, it said.
The public should also inform the other members of their household not to immediately accept parcels. They should check with the person concerned if he was expecting the delivery of such an item.
“This serves as a stern reminder that perpetrators engaged in such unlawful actions may be held liable either for violation of Section 25 of Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012, under the offense ‘Unauthorized Processing of Personal Information and Sensitive Personal Information’ or for Estafa under the Revised Penal Code,” the DOJ-OOC emphasized.
"The ACG has been ordered to investigate this report and get to the bottom of this case. They are also ordered to arrest and charge the persons behind this scheme victimizing our countrymen, mostly our overseas Filipino workers," PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.
DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay earlier asked the PNP and the NBI to unmask those behind Facebook pages and groups that offer a swift passport appointment process to applicants.
The DFA earlier also asked Facebook to identify and take down these accounts to prevent the public from getting swindled into paying for a service that is completely free of charge.
Appointment slots for all consular services are free, the DFA said.
Eleazar also appealed to the public not to patronize the offers on social media and immediately report to authorities their illegal activities.
“Let us work together to stop this kind of exploitation of our countrymen,” Eleazar said.
He said those who had been victimized by this scam could file their complaints through the various platforms of the PNP’s E-Sumbong.