9 out of 10 Filipinos fall victims to cybercriminals

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


STATISTICS showing that 9 out of 10 Filipinos have been victimized by cybercrime and malicious activities on the internet implies that cyber crime is the new frontier of criminality in the country and awareness to such crime should be increased, an official said Tuesday.

Philippine National Police Anti-cyber Crime Group (PNP-ACG) head Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, during the 1st Anniversary of the said special unit held at the PNP National Headquarters on Tuesday, said awareness of the people in the cyber crime does not go along well with the fast information technology knowledge of criminals who are utilizing social networks, blogs, message board, chats rooms and websites to look at their potential preys in the virtual world.

Sosa said that in a scale of 1 to 10, awareness of the Filipinos on cybercrime is at three to four.

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Sosa said victims, usually social networking website such as Facebook and Twitter users are taking the security features for granted.

"Marami sa atin gumagamit ng Facebook pero hindi natin alam yung mga security features ng Facebook kung papaano mo i-lilimit 'yung mga privacy settings para hindi open to everybody. Lack of information maski yung basic na paggamit ng social networking site, hindi nila alam yung pinaka security features," he said.

Sosa said people have to utilize security features of websites and to always be vigilant to avoid being victims of cybercrime.

Facebook user "Crissa" (not her real name), 23, admitted that she had fallen victim to a cybercriminal in 2009.

In that year, she entered into a relationship with a man who she only knew on Facebook even without meeting him personally.

After a year of being in a cyber relationship, Crissa said his boyfriend started to demand things, such as, money, expensive gadgets and even a motorcycle. Because she was so in love with him, Crissa gave whatever her boyfriend would demand from her.

Two years into the relationship, the boyfriend never showed up in their scheduled dates.

"Nung nagtagal na na paulit-ulit ng ganun, naghinala na ako, ako mismo nag-imbestiga ako at nalaman kong hindi nag-eexist yung pangalan ng boyfriend ko," Crissa said.

Crissa searched for her boyfriend's name in Commission on Election list of voters and tried getting his Certificate of Live Birth at the National Statistics Office.

Crissa even personally went to his boyfriend's hometown in Iloilo to investigate.

"Over the phone I confronted him kung sino ba talaga siya, umamin naman siya," Crissa said.

She later found out that her "boyfriend" was a girl and all its information in Facebook was fake.

"Para kasing totoo lahat from pictures even yung mga friends niya sa FB (Facebook) kaya naniwala ako nung una' dalawang taon na kami nung nalaman ko yung totoo which is too late kasi ang dami ko nang naibigay na pera," she said. (Sunnex)

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