80 alleged cybercrime perpetrators exploiting pandemic face raps: PNP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2021 12:46 PM

MANILA — Eighty individuals face criminal complaints for allegedly committing various forms of cybercrime from March this year, exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement that 121 different complaints have been filed against the 80 for various forms of cybercrime, such as spreading fake news on the internet, illegal online sale of medical supplies, and online scams.

Data from the PNP showed that from March 9 to August 9 this year, 87 complaints were filed against persons spreading fake news, 3 complaints over online scams, and 31 complaints for online profiteering, overpricing, hoarding and unauthorized selling of medical supplies.

"Patuloy ang pagtugis ng PNP sa mga walang kaluluwang pinagkakakitaan at nanamantala sa pangamba at takot ng ating mga kababayan sa COVID-19," Eleazar said.

(The PNP continues to hunt for people who make money off and take advantage of our people's fear of COVID-19.)

Reports from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group showed an increase in the spread of fake news and unverified information about the COVID-19 pandemic on social media, Eleazar said.

The police chief appealed to the public "to be discerning and wary of fake news." 

"This is also a stern warning to all individuals or groups spreading false information on various social media platforms. We will go after you and will not hesitate to put you behind bars," he said.

Eleazar added that the PNP has intensified monitoring of cybercrimes as more people are compelled to use the internet for school, office work, and business due to the pandemic.

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