The demand for face shields following the government’s additional health safety rule that requires the use of the protective gear in public transportation and some business establishments has opened a floodgate for online scams.
On Tuesday night, operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested a 47-year-old man who allegedly duped two businessmen with almost P1 million for failed delivery of the face shields they were ordering.
Juan Antonio Evangelista was arrested during an entrapment at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City when he demanded additional P2 million to ensure the release of the face shields that the two businessmen previously ordered.
CIDG director Police Major Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel said Evangelista even pretended to be a lawyer connected to the SkyPhil Corp. which he claimed to be selling face shields.
Coronel said the suspect was able to convince the victims to invest P900,000 for the purchase of 22,500 pieces of face shields. The money was paid but the face shields did not arrive.
This prompted the victims to proceed to the warehouse in Paco, Manila that Evangelista claimed to be where the stocks of face shields are kept. The victims were told that there were no face shields and that they did not know the suspect.
“This prompted them to seek our assistance and we immediately mapped out an entrapment as soon as they were able to contact the suspect again,” said Coronel.
Evagelista apologized for the delay during the phone conversation on Aug. 24 but said the face shields are guaranteed to be delivered if they pay additional P2 million since this would include 25,000 more pieces of face shields.
Evangelista was arrested after receiving the marked money. He was immediately taken to the CIDG where he surrendered an Integrated Bar of the Philippines identification card.
But based on the verification with the IBP, Evangelista turned out to be a bogus lawyer. He is now facing charges of falsification of public documents and estafa.
Coronel urged the other possible victims of Evangelista to go to the CIDG and file a complaint.
Police have been receiving numerous complaints about online scams involving face shields and other protective gears for the coronavirus disease.
In Davao, a woman was arrested for allegedly duping local businessmen with some P700,000 while in Manila, a female police sergeant was arrested for forcing her two online sellers of face shields to remit the money they owed her for the delivery of face shields.