TWO individuals wanted by the Philippine National Police-Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) have been nabbed in operations by the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit Cordillera (RACU-COR) in Pangasinan and Baguio.
The first, Warlyn Tan Castro, has a standing warrant of arrest issued by the Baguio City Regional Trial Court Branch 60 for a romance scam.
Castro’s victim said that they had met through Facebook, where Castro posed as a member of the United States Army, forming an online relationship with the victim and convincing him to settle in the Philippines.
Castro then told the victim to receive a package from her containing what that they can use to start a business together when she arrives in the country, but then claimed that the package was intercepted due to the illegality of packages containing a large sum of money, and asked the victim to pay P250,000 to have the package released.
The victim was able to pay P65,000 and tried taking out loans from a cousin, who informed that this was likely a romance scam, prompting the victim to report the incident to the RACU-COR, leading to an entrapment operation that eventually caught Castro, who is now facing swindling / estafa raps under the Revised Penal Code.
The second arrested individual was Jessiebel Pumeg-as, 33, of Old Lucban, Happy Homes, Baguio City, who was arrested after an online seller sought help from the RACU-COR after she was duped by a “fake buyer.”
Pumeg-as was a regular buyer in the victim’s online live selling who started ordering packages of assorted bags from the seller with supposed proof of down payment amounting to P6,900, complete with attached altered proof of transactions.
The seller received no proof of transactions in her digital wallet, prompting them to recheck the previous transactions, which led to the discovery that Pumeg-as had scammed them of some P23,000, leading to the report to the RACU-COR and the eventual entrapment of Pumeg-as.