P155 M lost to over 8,000 online scams from January – August 2023
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police – Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP – ACG) on Monday said that it has received over 8,000 complaints of various online scams from victims who lost more than P155 million from January to August this year.
PNP-ACG director Brig. Gen. Sydney Hernia revealed this data in a video presented before the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies joint hearing with the committees on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship; social justice, welfare and rural development; justice and human rights; and finance.
According to the report, 8,609 individuals lost about P155,204,358 to online selling, investment, call, employment, loan, package, accommodation, and love scams, among others.
Topping the list are online selling scams with about 1,615 victims who lost approximately P68,864,263, followed by investment scams with 911 victims (P5,988,404), and ATM fraud or phishing with 821 complainants (P3,193,209).
The other top schemes/scams and the amount of money lost by victims are call scam (635 victims / P6,876,388), employment scam (606 victims / P4,942,738), loan scam (562 victims / P9,395,166), package scam (533 victims / P20,902,535), highjack profile (358 victims / P9,585,180), accommodation scam (302 victims / P5,988,403), love scam (266 victims / P19,468,072).
Hernia’s presentation likewise revealed perpetrators commonly use popular social media platforms, payment, messaging and selling apps and websites to carry out their nefarious ways.
Only 109 victims filed regular cases, 24 underwent inquest proceedings, 574 are currently under investigation, and 7,902 cases were confirmed “through other means,” ACG said.
“Despite our strong desire and efforts to hold scammers accountable for their crimes, some complaints cannot be filed in court due to the difficulty of tracing and identifying perpetrators; another difficulty in filing cybercrime cases is the tedious process of obtaining necessary data from banks and financial institutions leading to victims withdrawing their complaints,” Hernia’s report said.