Amid the continuing rise in complaints regarding online scams in the country, cybercops from the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) arrested a notorious online scammer last Friday at about 3:00 PM in an entrapment operation in Cainta, Rizal, PNP ACG Acting Director, Police Senior Superintendent Reczon Tito T Acabado announced today.

Acabado identified the suspect as CHERRY LYN GUACHI BANAL a.k.a. Angel Pangilinan, Female, 29 year old, single, resident of Lot 56, Block 158, Kalusugan Street, Karangalan Village, Cainta, Rizal. She was arrested after filling-up/writing in the record/logbook of the remittance center when the cashier handed-over the money. The arresting police officers immediately accosted and effect the arrest against t the suspect.

Recovered from the possession of the suspect were PHP 1,250.00 (Remittance Money), MyPhone my82 DTV, Cherry Mobile A7, Myphone, Micro SD, and BIR Identification Card.

The suspect is now facing charges for violation of Article 315 (swindling/estafa) of the Revised Penal Code pursuant to Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 before the Rizal Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Taytay, Rizal.

According to Acabado, the suspect was arrested following a complaint from Ms. Chelsea Arcilla of Barangay Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City. Accordingly, on July 12, 2016 at 1:00 PM, when she surfed the internet using her laptop she saw an advertisement on for an Iphone6 16GB Gold Unit worth Php 13,000. Upon learning that the item was cheap, she contacted the seller and inquired on the unit.

According to Miss Chelsea, the seller identified himself as Rodolfo Banggos and they agreed that she would send Php 9,000.00 as an initial payment and Mr Banggos promised that he would send the said unit via Partas Bus going to Aurora-Cubao Station in Quezon City. Ms. Chelsea deposited Php9,000.00 at Eastwood 7/11 Convenience Store via GCASH and informed Banggos that she already deposited the amount by sending the photograph of the receipt through her Facebook account messenger.

Banggos likewise instructed Ms. Chelsea to enroll in a BPI account for SMS bank transfer to pay the remaining balance. The day after enrolling her BPI account she noticed that her remaining money worth Php 8,800.00 was withdrawn. Based on the account history of her BPI Express Online Banking, an online transfer amounting to Php 8,800.00 was transferred to a GXI Sett Account using a mobile transaction number.

The arrested suspect was designated as the “collector” of the illegal proceeds they got from their victims and the leader of the group is the “chatter” or the one that engages in online selling or buying. The modality involves posting of gadgets online or act as buyers and lure the victims in sending the amount or the items to them. The cybercriminal group will now be removing their accounts and never contact the seller or the buyer, Acabado said.

A PNP ACG team led by Supt. Jay D. Guillermo was tasked to locate and arrest the suspect and bring her behind bars through an entrapment operation. The arrest should serve as a warning to the public to be wary of online scams which could rip off an unsuspecting individual of his or her hard-earned money. As records show, online scammers are the number 1 cybercrime perpetrators in the country with 202 cases from January to June this year alone.

Furthermore, in case of online scams, you may report this through social media (Twitter @PNPACG or Facebook Page @anticybercrimegroup) or through the following hotline numbers (02) 414-1560 or (02) 414-2199.