THE Department of Interior and Local Government yesterday warned local government chief executives against scammers posing as DILG officials and offering services in exchange for cash.
“Let the public be warned that senior officials of the DILG do not call LGUs asking for favors. It is prudent to always check and consult our provincial DILG office to confirm before believing or sending money to these con artists,” DILG Undersecretary and spokesman Jonathan Malaya said.
Malaya said the impostors have been calling mayors in Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Iloilo, Leyte and even Cotabato offering services for money. He did not say if some have fallen prey to the scam.
“In one instance, the mayor was told that the DILG will donate 2,800 cavans of rice to his constituents but in return the mayor has to send P20,000 via money remittance allegedly for transportation costs,” Malaya said.
“In another instance, the mayor was told that he will be helped in his pending cases provided that funds are transferred to an account of their choosing,” Malaya added. Malaya said the DILG has alerted the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group about the scam. He expressed confidence police would be able to arrest the scammers soon.
“This is a clear case of estafa punishable under the Revised Penal Code, thus we have requested the Philippine National Police to track down those persons responsible,” Malaya said.
Malaya said LGU officials who receive calls or text messages from DILG officials seeking money in exchange for services may reach out to the DILG.
“The public is advised to be cautious in dealing with any person claiming to be connected to the Department without verification. LGUs who are contacted by these unscrupulous individuals may verify the call or text with the DILG city, municipal, local government operations officer or our provincial or regional office,” said Malaya.
He added the mayors who are approached by the scammers cam also report the case to the local PNP.
“We encourage everyone to report to the PNP station nearest you if you become aware of any similar acts. Rest assured that your identity will be kept confidential,” Malaya said.