MOVIEGOER: Fighting hackers, identity thieves, scammers

Published July 29, 2021, 6:38 AM

by Nestor Cuartero

Jullie Y. Daza

Every other person I know has been victimized by either hacking or theft identity on the Internet.

Recently, I got the scare of my life when friends started calling me to report that someone using my name had been sending them creepy messages through Messenger.

The poseur attempts to make an acquaintance by starting with pleasantries and polite gestures. If you respond positively, he or she then drops a bomb, creates a scenario, asks for financial assistance.

It was a good thing that my poseur failed to copy my writing style when chatting or texting. Friends detected this and called my attention. Joy said she noticed I didn’t usually chat or text that way.

Which wasn’t the case with Randy, a friend whose Facebook account had been hacked and whose name is now being used to solicit funds.

The sad part is that Randy’s hacker had borrowed his identity freely and completely, creating a composite personality out of my friend’s public posts, mostly about his illness. That, plus the fact that he was able to mimic Randy’s writing, made the fake posts believable.

The lesson there? Avoid baring your soul in public.

What to do in case of a similar incident in your social media life? Well, report it immediately to Facebook, recite a novena, and hope for the best.


Last Friday’s column on Sen. Kiko Pangilinan’s twin court cases against YouTube over malicious videos posted against his family fetched the following shout-out from a dear friend, the revered journalist and writer Jullie Y. Daza.

Here goes:

Dear Nestor,

I sympathize with Senator Pangilinan, Sharon, and their children, and everyone who has been slandered by fake news (as reported in your Friday column).

For more than 10 years now I have suffered from identity theft in cyberspace – and it looks like there’s nothing I can do to stop the pious thieves.

A group whose alleged purpose is to spread their devotion to St. Therese, the Little Flower of Lisieux, has been misusing my name as the author of a badly written article about my supposed experience of a “miracle” attributed to the saint. Why they have appropriated my name for such a holy mission is beyond me as I have never claimed nor publicly exhibited a religious side. With all due respect to St. Therese, whom I read about during my high school days – yes, I had a Catholic education – the thieves could have chosen someone more believable, more religious to suit their warped and twisted purposes (whatever those may be).

That article has been doing the rounds of social media, specially on Facebook, and no matter how I and my friends have been vehemently denying my authorship, it seems to have acquired a life of its own.

Do you know how I can stop it? Stealing a name is stealing by any other name, but those people behind the “devotion” ought to study and restudy the Ten Commandments from No. 1 to 10, may God have mercy on them.