Updated 09:51 AM PHT Sat, February 18, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The "rentangay" scam apparently has victimized more than 500 car owners, who did not even know their cars were mortgaged if not for the media.
Rentangay, a portmanteau of the words rent and tangay, meaning "carried away," is carried out by a certain Tychicus Nambio who rents sedans and SUVs from private car owners, among others, for an amount of P30,000 to P45,000 per month, depending on the brand.
Unknown to the cars owners, however, Nambio would take these rented cars and mortgage them to another set of people. Authorities explained, Nambia had two sets of victims: those whose cars he "rented" and the people to whom he mortgaged the cars.
One of the victims, Mark Kevin Serrano, said in a Department of Justice press conference Friday afternoon, that they realized it was a scam only when Nambio was arrested.
"Hindi kami nagpapanic kasi nakukuha namin yung bayad. The moment na nalaman namin na this was a scam, the time na nakita namin sa news na naarrest na pala si (Nambio) for this kind of crime," Serrano said.
[Translation: We did not panic because he pays us our dues. We only realized it was a scam when we saw the news reports that Nambio was arrested for this kind of crime.]
Nambio even gave the lenders a contract, said Ariel Inton, the legal counsel of the victims.
Serrano added that Nambio also showed off the cars he was currently renting, as well as the checks he will issue.
"He shows us almost all the safety precautions we need to check," the victim said in mixed English and Filipino.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre urged the other victims to file their complaints since Nambio can still go out of the country to escape.
"Nobody should be allowed to profit from scamming others," Aguirre said.
Around 200 vehicles were recovered by the National Bureau of Investigation in Tagaytay, Cavite while 300 are in Canlubang, Laguna.
The scam was allegedly in operation since 2014, Serrano said.
Serrano said the scam grew through word of mouth, as Nambio even gives P5,000 for each referred vehicle as commission.