Tampering school receipts

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By Adrian Bobe

A-Listed!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


IF YOU are a parent waiting for your turn to pay your child’s tuition in school, or maybe, you are seated in a bank reading this paper while waiting for your transaction, I dedicate this column to you.

This also goes out to the increasing number of parents who have been victimized, by—sadly—their own children, who tamper school receipts and school dues.

This is not new to me, though, and perhaps for many people. I can recall how my friends would seek the help of computer geeks in nearby shops during exam period. For P100 or more, they manipulate school accounts. This is very timely, as the midterm exam in colleges and universities is fast approaching.

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Case in point: A student needs extra money, perhaps for an unexpected expense for a class project, or maybe, wants to have something to spend on a “gimmick” night with friends. He needs the cash badly and search for a way, until somebody whispers to him: Tamper school receipts. There’s an easy solution!

This devious ploy has been used by many students for a long time– using someone’s knowledge of computer technology for instant school receipts or assessment documents, reflecting marked-up amounts to show to their parents.

And in many cases, the parents thought their poor son or daughter must be given enough to make college life productive. In whatever parlance you’d call it, it’s falsification of documents and our law prohibits that.

A study show that students who wish to tamper documents – like receipts and even medical certifications – go to at least three types of document-makers:

1. Friends who know computer technology very well. As friends, they prove their ties by helping one in need and, usually, they don’t charge an amount. Someone said he does it for friends who really need help.
2. Some contacts in the internet café, where fees start from P100 and it can go higher to P150, like at a café in front of another school.

3. Desktop publishers, usually through individual employees who get publicity by satisfied customers through word of mouth. A contact, who confirmed having most customers from private schools, especially in his former workplace in a mall, said most of his clients from “are female students.”

A friend went through the process – seeking the services of someone who does not charge anything out of goodwill and another which required at least P150 for the reproduction a 3”x5” receipt, name the amount on the document and they will do it for you.

In one case, the document was tampered from P5,600 to P8,000 and in the other case, from P10,000 to P20,000 – all in less than five minutes as a template is already available. Along with the amount, the name of the student and the TIN number of the school can be changed, presto!

Tampering of receipt is considered falsification of documents.
Students tampering their receipts is a private crime having their parents as the offended party, so it follows that criminal offenses are least applied.

However, falsification of public documents like receipts is a criminal offense with imprisonment charges. As to the falsifier, he or she will be charged with criminal offenses together with the proponent of the falsification when reported.

But as usual, it becomes a topic over family dinner when a child is caught. No parent, in general, would raise this concern to school administrators, as it means putting his or her child’s education at risk.

If you are a student guilty of tampering of school records, this one is for you, too. Imagine yourself having a child tampering school dues to get more money from you, how would you feel? And to parents, instead of relying on a statement of account or receipt presented by your student, you might want to confirm it at the business office through a phone call, or drop by the school.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 12, 2014.

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