Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on Thursday warned the public about individuals using government officials’ names or offices to solicit funds.
In a press statement, the secretary said that for the past few months his office has been receiving reports about individuals pretending to be him in order to solicit financial aid for government projects or to offer assistance to fast-track government procedures in exchange for a fee.
He said the impersonators call or text their intended victims, who are then directed to deposit the requested amounts in a personal bank account.
“Other government officials have been impersonated as well, with the same modus operandi,” Ochoa said.
He said he has directed the proper law enforcement authorities to investigate, capture, and charge those behind the scam.
“Several cases are now being investigated, with one group having been arrested by a joint NBI-PNP CIDG team earlier this week. The individuals arrested belong to a text scam syndicate and are now in the custody of the PNP,” he said.
Ochoa requested the public or those contacted by the unscrupulous individuals to report such incidents to the Office of the President.
“We also warn those engaged in these scams that these criminal activities are not taken lightly, and that those involved will be caught and prosecuted with the full force of the law,” he said. —With Amita Legaspi/DVM/VS