Request for ‘phone load’ foils swindle attempt

A RESTAURANT located in a mall in the uptown area of Cebu City was almost duped into catering for 200 persons at the headquarters of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) at Camp Sotero Cabahug.

A man using CCPO Director Josefino Ligan’s name had called to make the order.

Everything seemed to be in place. The caller had arranged for a meeting where he would make payment but then asked for P500 in phone load, prompting management to double-check.

It sent someone to Ligan’s office to verify if the latter had made the call, but he denied ever contacting the restaurant.

“Someone from the restaurant came to the office to ask if the city director had made food reservation for 200 persons. Apparently, this is the modus of some people: They call establishments using the name of well-known people,” said CCPO deputy director for operations Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla in Cebuano.

The caller gave the name of a barangay captain in the south of the city to try and convince the restaurant that he was telling the truth.

He also gave management a cellular phone number, but it could not be contacted.

The CCPO has asked the Regional Anti-Cyber Crime Unit 7 to check if it can identify the caller. It also informed the telecommunications firm about the incident.

Another restaurant had fallen victim to the same modus.

In that incident, the caller used the name of the vice mayor of Cebu City. Although management realized it was a hoax before it could prepare the food, it had already sent the caller P5,000 worth of phone load.

Parilla believes the people behind these calls are from the city.

He warned the public not to send a phone load to anyone claiming to be a “VIP” over the phone without verification. (AYB / PJB)


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