FOLLOWING information received by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Strategic Trade Management Office from the Interpol, the DTI is asking the public to take caution in the download and use of online applications or apps that are intended to defraud and threaten victims.
In a memorandum provided by the DTI, there is a report of a modus operandi of the Momo Challenge targeting WhatsApp accounts, threatening them to do extreme actions such as suicide and private information theft.
The modus of the cybercriminals include creating WhatsApp accounts using the Momo avatar, sending unsettling messages to children and making threatening calls to force them to carry out their demands, including disclosure of information, self-harm and other dangerous actions.
Another modus involve an Investment Fraud Scheme which targets users of dating applications, while cybercriminals also take advantage by luring victims on dating apps to fraud investment campaigns.
The schemes include criminals use artificial online romance established thru the dating apps to target victims for financial engagement and investment into trading opportunities and financial products.
Some victims are lured into opening trading accounts and executing payments through wire transfers, card payments or cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets.
After this, the cybercriminals and their websites become out of reach, causing their victims full financial losses on their supposed investments.
DTI-Central Luzon Director Judith Angeles is asking the public to take extra caution when dealing with online transactions that may involve trading, investments and transferring financial assets.
She added that the public may contact the hotline of DTI - 1384 or email email@example.com or report the matter to the proper law enforcement agencies.