FACEBOOK has disabled three accounts of con men who have stolen the identity of Philippine National Police chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan to solicit money from their targets purportedly for humanitarian projects of the police force, PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) director, Brigadier General Manuel Pepino announced yesterday.
The official said ACG investigators found out that the fake ‘General Cascolans’ were involved in online swindling and estafa, mosly soliciting funds from unsuspecting victims purportedly to help fund humanitarian projects of the PNP chief during the pandemic.
Pepino said the three Facebook poser accounts which have been flagged by the social media giant have the account names: “Camilo Pancratius Pikoy Cascolan”, “Camilo P Cascolan”, “Camilo Cascolan” and all misrepresenting the page as owned by Gen. Cascolan who became the 24th PNP chief last September 2.
He added that the PNP has initiated the investigation and case build-up on the activities of the persons behind the identified bogus Facebook accounts and requested Facebook to take down these pages to prevent possible further illegal activities.
As a result, the PNP-ACG received a communication from Facebook’s Law Enforcement Outreach Manager Rob Abrams confirming they have disabled all three fake Gen. Cascolan accounts.
“These fake accounts have been active on social networks enticing Facebook users to donate funds purportedly to purchase computer tablets for students in urban poor communities for online classes,” the PNP-ACG director said.
Pepino added that four ‘persons of interest’ have been issued subpoenas to appear before the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for investigation into their involvement in the creation of the bogus PNP chief Facebook accounts.
“This joint ACG-CIDG investigation seeks to further develop facts and new inputs to identify the personalities behind online scam operations using these bogus Facebook accounts, he said.
Persons creating bogus Facebook accounts to swindle people may face criminal charges for violation of Sec. 4 (b) 3 of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, for identity theft; and Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code for Swindling or Estafa (Online Scam), Pepino said.