PNP: 9 in 10 Pinoys are cybercrime victims

By Cecille Suerte Felipe, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 19 2014 01:54 AM | Updated as of Mar 19 2014 09:54 AM

MANILA - Nine of 10 Filipino Internet users fell victim to cybercrime due to lack of awareness on security features of social networks, the Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed Tuesday.

PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima said he is relying on the capability of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) under Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa to educate and protect the public from cyber criminals.

“The ACG has gathered information to help increase our awareness. And with better understanding we hope to be able to craft better operations and strategies against cybercrime,” Purisima said during the opening of the two-day 1st Anti-Cybercrime Summit held at the Multipurpose Hall in Camp Crame.

Currently, the Philippines ranks 17th in the world in Internet use.

Based on the data of the ACG, 2,778 cybercrime-related offenses were recorded by the PNP from 2003 to 2012.

The latest statistics, from 2010 to 2013, show that Internet fraud tops the list of cybercrime, followed by harassment, threats and libel.

When asked to rate the level of awareness of Filipinos on cybercrime, Sosa placed it from three to four on a scale of one to 10.

“Such figure is alarming with Filipinos known to be heavy users of social media like Facebook and Twitter,” he said.

Purisima said the ACG has already investigated 601 cybercrime cases and examined 2,242 pieces of digital evidence.

“We attribute this accomplishment to our strong partnership with our local and international counterparts and technical support on training we receive from the US anti-terrorism assistance program,” he added.

He also said the PNP has put in all the needed equipment and manpower to address what it calls the new frontier of criminal activities.

“We may find ourselves in the midst of changing times where criminals are utilizing networks, blogs, message boards, chats and websites to look for their potential preys,” Purisima warned.

“The virtual world is now added to our scope of responsibility for use of information and communication technology as an informative tool to maintain peace and order. We now hope to better understand the virtual world and be able to clearly set the direction we are taking to our campaign against cybercrime,” he added.