Online scams, libel cases top PNP’s cybercrime list from March to September

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 27) — Online scams and libel cases top the cybercrime list of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from March to September this year.

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Ngayon on Tuesday, PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group Spokesperson PMaj. Joseph Villaran revealed that the top five cybercrimes during the 7-month period were online scams, online libel, computer-related identity thefts, anti-photo and video voyeurism, and illegal access to someone else’s online account.

Villaran said these crimes are all related to each other as different forms of computer-related identity theft.

“Dahil sa pandemic, ang physical contact natin ay nawala. But ‘yong internet is tuloy-tuloy siyang gumagana. Dahil internet lang ang pinaglilibangan nila... ‘yan din ang tini-take advantage ng mga criminal,” he said.

[Translation: Because of the pandemic, we have no physical contact with each other. But the internet is there and continues to function. Because it's the only one working, criminals are taking advantage of it.]

Villaran said online shopping is the most common form of an online scam. He said criminals pretend to be online sellers, but items fail to be delivered once money is transferred.

The PNP-ACG said data showed that there was a 37% in online scams.

Online libel meanwhile is associated with giving false information about a person, according to Villaran.

“Pwede po 'yan i-associate sa giving of false information. Libel is paninirang puri. Sisiraan ka online.”

[Translation: It can be associated with the giving of false information. Libel is defaming someone. They will do it online.]

Villaran said there was also an increase in cases of illegal access of someone else’s online account, which can be used for scams and sexual exploitation.

He reminded the public to be extra careful in giving out personal information online.