DILG to LGUs: Watch out for bogus officials, scammers
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Sunday reiterated its warning to local government units to watch out for a scam involving individuals claiming to be senior officials of the department and offering favors and various forms of assistance in exchange for money.
Interior Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the DILG has received reports from local chief executives receiving calls or texts from individuals pretending to be senior DILG officials of the agency.
“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,” Malaya said in a statement.
According to Malaya, the impostors have been calling mayors in Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Iloilo, Leyte, and Cotabato to offer government assistance and assistance in pending investigations and cases.
In one instance, one mayor was told that the DILG will donate 2,800 cavans of rice to his constituents but he has to send P20,000 through money remittance for transportation costs.
Another mayor was told that he will be assisted in his pending cases provided that funds will be transferred to a certain bank account.
Malaya said that the DILG has already alerted the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police.
The DILG issued a public advisory about this scam last July.
“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,“ he said.
Malaya reiterated that the DILG communicates with LGUs and other agencies through official channels only.
“Hence, the public is advised to be cautious in dealing with any person claiming to be connected to the department without verification,” he added.
Malaya advised LGUs contacted by such individuals to verify the calls or texts with the DILG city or municipal local government operations officer or with its provincial or regional offices.
“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,” he added.