PDEA warns public against mobile phone scammers

By Chito Chavez

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has warned the public against unscrupulous groups introducing themselves as PDEA personnel and asking thousands of pesos worth of cellphone load.

PDEA Dir Aaron Aquino speaks during a press conference at the PDEA headquarters in Quezon City, April 25 2018. (Mark BAlmores / MANILA BULLETIN) PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino issued the caution after scammers victimized an office in Davao City using the modus operandi.

A public advisory was released by PDEA after the news about the said incident occurred on April 4, 2019.

Aquino said a spurious mobile phone call was received by the said office supposedly originating from PDEA Regional Office XI (PDEA ROXI).

Reports said that Regional Director Antonio E. Rivera and companions would drop by their office to get cellphone load amounting to P3,000.

The office staff victimized by the scam who received the call immediately went out to buy the load. However, after the load transaction was completed, the staff called the number but the line was already unattended.

Upon confirmation by the office staff, from the PDEA ROXI, Rivera said no such request was made by the office.

“Do not be fooled. It is a strategy of swindlers exacting cellphone load using the identity of people in authority,” Aquino said.

He noted that the fraudulent groups are trying to defraud the victims by “riding the crest of the intensified national anti-drug campaign.”

With the scamming incident, PDEA advised the public to confirm if such request was made by calling the official contact numbers of the concerned PDEA offices and personnel.

“Immediately report any fraud or scam carried out through phone calls, texts or internet using the name of the agency,” the PDEA chief concluded.