DOJ to probe bitcoin investment scams

Published August 1, 2020, 4:34 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday, August 1, that he has ordered an investigation into online scammers who have been luring victims to invest in bogus bitcoin trading by using names of government officials and even celebrities.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Guevarra said he has directed the DOJ’s Office of Cybercrime (OCC), headed by Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete, to look into the request of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to investigate such online scams.

“I have asked our Office of Cybercrime to coordinate with the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) in investigating Sec. Dominguez’s complaint,” he said.

“If necessary, I will issue a separate department order to the NBI,” he added.

Dominguez sought the investigation after learning that some scammers have been using his name to entice prospective victims to invest in bogus bitcoin trading.

In a July 28 letter to Guevarra, Dominguez cited a Facebook post which made “fraudulent use of my name to promote a fake cryptocurrency auto-trading platform called ‘bitcoin revolution’.”

“Similar investment ploys using the names of some Finance and Treasury officials in other countries as well as Filipino celebrities is likewise used in an attempt to dupe the public into falling for the scam,” Dominguez added.

Though reports have been made to Facebook about these fraudulent posts, Dominguez warned the perpetrators of such acts may still continue to find other avenues to pursue their malicious activities.

“Thus, we request the assistance of the DOJ Cybercrime Office to track, identify, and prosecute those responsible for these posts,” read the letter.

 
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