By JOVILAND RITA, GMA Integrated News
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday warned the public against “love scams” as online crimes increase ahead of Valentine’s Day.
“As we celebrate the month of February, dedicated to love, it is crucial to remain vigilant in the realm of cybercrime and protect ourselves and our loved ones from falling victim to love scams,” PNP Chief Police General Benjamin Acorda Jr. said in a press briefing.
“Let us prioritize education on digital safety and stay vigilant,” he added.
Acorda said there was an increase in online crimes, including 439 online selling scam cases, 113 investment scam cases, and 102 debit and credit card fraud and phishing cases.
From January 3 to February 8, Acorda said the PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group had served 29 arrest warrants and conducted 15 entrapment operations.
Among the prevalent cybercrimes were 749 cases of online scamming, 368 cases of illegal access, and 147 cases of online libel, Acorda added.
Anti-scam watchdog group Scam Watch Pilipinas earlier bared eight types of love scammers:
- the sad gurl/boi who tells his or her sad stories and then asks for money;
- the seducer who attracts the victim with good looks to take his or her money;
- the investor who poses as a wealthy person to encourage the victim in making an investment;
- the scammer who pretends to be a member of the military to attract and deceive would-be victims;
- the escort who uses seductive profile pictures in their social media accounts to lure his or her victim;
- the blackmailer who seduces victims so that he or she would allow sensitive photos to be taken. These images would then be used for blackmail;
- the predator who are older individuals who target younger victims; and
- the slow burn who takes time to be patient and caring until the victim falls in love and gives him or her money.
— DVM, GMA Integrated News