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Phishing tops crime online

Alvin Murcia

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Online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) was dislodged by phishing, online selling scam and fake news in the duration that the country was under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law.

This was according to Department of Justice (DoJ) Undersecretary and spokesman Markk Perete as he said there are more cases of phishing, online scams and fake news compared to OSEC as most individuals locked up in their homes have turned to the Internet for most of their activities.

Perete in a statement said that on 8 July 2020, the DoJ -Office of Cybercrime (OoC) hosted the first of its webinar series entitled, “Cybercrime in the Time of Corona: PH Cybercrime Trends During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The webinar served as a forum where law enforcers discussed common crime typologies reported and investigated during the community quarantine.

Records from March to June 2020 the top three most prevalent crimes in the Philippines were phishing, online selling scam, and proliferation of misinformation that tends to cause panic among the public.

Responses highlighted

The first two crimes are punishable under Republic Act (RA) 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, while the last one is penalized by RA 11649 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
The DoJ-OoC highlighted the government’s responses to these crimes during the pandemic.

Senior Agent Francis Señora from the National Bureau of Investigation-Cybercrime Division and PLt. Col. Weneco Fuentes, Assistant Chief, Cyber Security Unit of the Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group and Atty. Angiereen Medina of the DoJ-OoC served as resource persons.

Participants to the webinar were also apprised of practical tips on how to avoid being victimized by cyber threats, especially by being conscientious in all of their online dealings.

“It is expected that during these pandemic times, where direct personal interactions are reduced, more crimes will be committed in cyberspace. It is therefore imperative that law enforcement agencies beef up their cybercrime units, upgrade their technologies, and enhance their investigative capabilities,” Justice Menardo Guevarra said.

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