Two suspects behind a scam involving safety devices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have been arrested in an entrapment operation led by the Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) with the aid of GCash, the country’s leading mobile wallet. Along with the sale of LPG gas safety devices the scam also involved alleged processing fees for a refund which the victim availed of, amounting to Php 1.7 million.
The suspects were identified as Mary Joy Cubilla, 24, and Jommel Cubilla, 21, both residents of Longos, Malabon.
The complainant narrated that the suspects introduced themselves as housing census officers who presented a complete package of LPG safety devices. Convinced that the package is a necessity, the complainant availed of the offer. The complainant was later informed she can avail of a refund, provided she would pay processing fees to various agencies. After paying the processing fees, the victim received a call from a certain Joseph Reyes who claimed to be the Vice President of Resource Fund Incorporated (RFI), informing the complainant that the refund was already available in their office if the complainant would send another payment.
By this time, the complainant had already realized that it is a scam and reported the incident to the PNP-ACG, which then conducted an entrapment operation.By agreeing to pay the suspects an additional P10,000, police operatives were able to track down Mary Joy Cubilla and waited for her to withdraw the money. Later on, Jommel Cubilla was also tracked down and arrested and charged for being an accomplice.
By closely cooperating with the PNP-ACG, GCash is able to have a deeper knowledge of the workings of scammers and fraudsters. Having a user base of 81 million with the end goal of financial inclusion, GCash considers the online safety of its users as a top priority. Alongside collaboration with law enforcement authorities against scammers and fraudsters, GCash also works hard in promoting public awareness of these cybercriminal activities so that users can anticipate and avoid them. Aside from the PNP, GCash is currently in close coordination with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC).
GCash also urges its users to be extra vigilant and to never disclose their MPIN or OTP. With the rise in phishing incidents, users are strongly advised never to click links, especially from unknown senders.
For help and assistance, contact the PNP-ACG via their hotlines at (02) 8414-1560, 0998-598-8116, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To report scams and fraudulent activities, visit the official GCash Help Center at help.gcash.com/hc/en-us or message Gigi on the website and type, “I want to report a scam.” GCash will never send private messages to ask for personal information, especially the MPIN and One-Time Pin (OTP). Customers can also reach out to the official GCash hotline 2882 for queries and other concerns.
Elderly woman lost 1.7 million pesos to LPG scam