2 ‘scammers’ hunted by NBI-7 operatives

Mae Fhel K. Gom-os (The Freeman) - November 24, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Two alleged masterminds of a credit card phishing scam are now subject of a manhunt operation by the operatives of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Central Visayas following a fraudulent online transaction victimizing a 53-year-old businesswoman in Cebu City.

The alleged masterminds were identified as Jimboy Ruales Ramos and Juliet "Lenary" Bayato. They allegedly own a pharmacy along B. Rodriguez Street in uptown Cebu City.

 Using stolen information, Ramos and Bayato allegedly used the victim’s credit card to purchase medicine and other health and wellness products from a networking group.

After being alerted by the bank of the fraudulent transactions, the victim sought the help of the NBI-7 resulting in the arrest of two other suspects during an entrapment operation Friday last week.

The complainant, who requested anonymity, said she was alerted by the bank regarding three dollar merchant purchases allegedly made by Bayato. Two of the transactions were successful while the other one was not completed because it required a one-time pin (OTP).

The transactions amounting to more than P62,000 were made in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City. The NBI-7 operatives immediately coordinated with the company where the purchases were made and conducted a “controlled delivery” operation resulting in the arrest of the two cohorts identified as Roland Erando and Niza Cagabhion.

Both Erando and Cagabhion denied participation in the fraudulent transactions. They claimed that they were only instructed by Ramos and Bayato to receive the parcels.

The NBI-7 warned the public of fraudulent online schemes that have become common during this time of pandemic because most people are into cashless transactions.

The suspects will be facing criminal complaints for violation of Republic Act 8484 otherwise known as Access Devices Regulation Act as amended by R.A. 11449. The suspects could face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of P1 million to P5 million if found guilty. — FPL (FREEMAN)

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