PNP warns of con artist using Cascolan name

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    A CYBER con artist has reportedly been using the name of PNP chief Camilo Cascolan to dupe people, including policemen eyeing preferred assignments in the police force.

    PNP spokesman Col. Ysmael Yu yesterday said the con artist has created a Facebook account in the name of “Camilo P. Cascolan” using stolen identity data of the PNP chief.

    Yu said Cascolan learned of the activity of the con artist from a close friend, whose nephew-cop in Cabantuan City was almost duped into sending P10,000 via money transfer in exchange for an assignment of his choice.

    “We welcome well-meaning messages and posts on social media that assist us in reaching out to the public, but we will not allow the name of the PNP and its officials to be misused for shady activities,” said Yu.

    Yu said investigators from the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group have identified the owner and creator of the fake Facebook account. They have also alerted Fabebook of the account being used in criminal activity.

    ACG chief Brig. Gen. Dennis Agustin said case build-up operations have led to a “strong case” for violation of the anti-cybercrime laws against the suspect, whose name was withheld. Agustin said the suspect will be arrested as soon as an arrest warrant is issued by a court.

    Data from ACG showed 76 persons have been charged for 113 cybercrime cases since March when the government imposed community quarantine restrictions in the country. Twenty-seven of them have been arrested.

    Meanwhile, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive director Ricardo Jalad warned the public against unscrupulous persons reportedly using his name, the NDRRMC and the Office of Civil Defense to solicit funds purportedly to finance the government’s fight against COVID-19.

    Jalad issued the warning after receiving reports that some people have been posing as NDRRMC and OCD officials to seek monetary donations to fight the pandemic.

    “No NDRRMC or OCD official will contact anyone using an unregistered or third-party contact number and ask for funds to be deposited to personal accounts or money transfer outlets,” said Jalad.

    Jalad urged the public to report to the NDRRMC hotline or to the local police “if they encounter such bogus solicitations and not to give out any item or amount to these (people).”

    Jalad said those who wish to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 can deposit their donations to Development Bank of the Philippines and not to personal accounts or via money transfer outlets.