ZAMBOANGA - A former television reporter who allegedly swindled some Internet users by creating a fake Facebook account and pretending to have a legal online business was arrested in an entrapment operation by the Zamboanga City police in a mall on Tuesday.
Superintendent Haywien Salvado, chief of police station 7, identified the subject of the operation as Nathalyn Bello.
Bello allegedly deceived a new friend, Fedierose Atilano, whom she used to claim the money sent by her victims in a money remittance center.
Atilano said Bello claimed the money was sent by her relatives and was supposed to be used to pay hospital bills for her ill nephew.
Atilano said she grew suspicious over Bello after a supposed victim of her online scam activity sent her a private message on Facebook accusing her of being a swindler and demanding that she turn over their remitted money.
Atilano later on learned that Bello created a fake account on Facebook using her name.
She immediately went to the police station and asked for assistance. Hours later, an entrapment operation was conducted in one of the malls in Zamboanga's central business district.
Atilano claimed the money in one of the remittance centers and handed it over to Bello.
Bello was immediately arrested by policemen and brought to the police station for further investigation.
Bello declined to be interviewed except to say she did not know the allegations of the complainant.
According to Salvado, Bello committed a criminal act by pretending to be someone and using her identity for fraudulent transactions.
The police official said, under the Republic Act No. 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, computer-related identity theft is considered a criminal act.
Salvado said they are also evaluating what other criminal complaints can be filed against Bello.
Bello was a reporter for a local television station in Zamboanga City. She also became a segment producer of one of the programs of ABS-CBN Zamboanga.