Christmas is a season of giving, sharing and … deceiving.
Netizens alerted the public against various modus operandi being carried out by individuals or a group in crowded areas and even inside public transportation as Christmas day approaches.
Makati City-based employee Allison Lopez shared the sentiment of her friend who was victimized by a young person who disguised as a job applicant who lost her wallet following a job interview.
“Too many scams and modus, especially this holiday season. Because they know people have the money and people are very sympathetic now,” said Lopez.
She added “I hope people will be more cautious during the holiday season. Bad guys come up with new tricks every year… we should think twice, thrice, whenever we face instances that involve our hard-earned money or our valuables.”
Lopez shared her friend’s Facebook post narrating one (modus) incident.
“So sad. Yesterday 9 am at a coffee shop, a person approached me asking if I can spare 100 pesos because he lost his wallet after his job interview. Properly dressed. Good English. So I gave. I even asked him what position he interviewed for and said I hope he gets the job.”
“Today, the same dude approached me with the exact same story while I was walking along Salcedo Street. I am not sad about my 100 pesos. Because I gave it believing I was helping. I am sad I didn’t punch his face this morning!”
Another netizen Willy Labores shared there was an instance when a group of men on Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, also in Makati City, boarded the passenger bus he was riding and solicited money, saying a relative died and they have no money for the burial expenses.
But Labores said a male friend told him this was the same group he also met in Caloocan City.
Church officials said Filipinos were known to be generous people especially during the holiday season where they share their blessings by giving cash or in-kind gifts to those who are in need.
“People are not obligated to give. There are other ways to be charitable. They can visit orphanages, or they could donate to churches and not necessarily to people who are directly soliciting from passengers, from people in the street,” a priest said.
A viral video also showed a shopper wearing a body bag busily picking out bags in Divisoria.
Two women pretending to be shoppers arrived.
They tried to position themselves in between the victim and alternately moving beside the victim until one of them opened the bag.
It only takes a few seconds for the shopper to notice that her bag was opened, the video footage showed. The whole scene only took less than two minutes.
A study conducted by the National Police Commission showed that most urban crimes during Christmas were crimes against property.
The most common items taken by these criminals are cash, cellphones, other forms of simple appliances (audio and video equipment), pieces of jewelry, wristwatches, and clothing.
Makati City policemen recently arrested 10 suspected members of the Budol Budol gang who victimized an elderly woman inside Power Plant Mall, Rockwell in Barangay Poblacion.
Mall security guards informed the authorities that the group’s modus in victimizing shoppers was caught by the closed circuit television cameras of the establishment.
The Southern Police District already made a warning against the rising criminal acts during the Yuletide season.
One of the criminal groups was “Ipit Gang” which operates by “casually ganging up on an innocent person, with one accomplice stealing the victim’s valuables while the other create distractions for the victim and bystanders.”
This group operates in Light Railway Transit (LRT 1 and 2), Metro Railway Transit (MRT3) and also targeting bus commuters on both the north and south bound of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, and along the stretch of Senator Gil Puyat Avenue (formerly Buendia Avenue) in Makati.
The SPD also revealed that some members of the gang whom they recently arrested are being protected by a certain Police Officer named Tamond.
In crowded areas like open public markets and commercial centers, the authorities also called on the public to be aware of the “Pasa-Bilis Gang” whose crime tactic is done by a gang whose members quickly pass from one person to another stolen items to avoid being detected.
At the airports, most of the crimes are being carried out by members of Salisi Gang.