The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recorded 16,297 cybercrime cases from January to August this year amid a continuing battle against the rising occurrence of incidents online that proved to be harder to solve since the culprits can hide behind anonymous accounts.
Police Brigadier General Sidney S. Hernia, director of PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG), said there is a shift in cybercrime trend in recent years as cybercriminals now exploit emerging technologies such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), cryptocurrencies, and online casinos to commit crimes like online scam, the most common form of cybercrime.
“Online scams have become the most prevalent type of cybercrime, reflecting the changing landscape of digital threats,” he said.
Apart from this, other common types of cybercrime include illegal access to device, computer-related identity theft, ATM/credit card fraud, threats, data interference, anti-photo and video voyeurism, computer-related fraud, and unjust vexation.
In the first eight months of 2023, the PNP-ACG said it arrested 397 cybercrime suspects and rescued 4,092 victims, most of them saved during trafficking-related operations.
The PNP-ACG added that it served 19 search warrants and 214 arrest warrants; conducted 140 entrapment operations; and provided technical assistance to 24 ongoing cybercrime investigations by other government units and agencies.
The PNP-ACG has also been closely monitoring activities like e-sabong, intensifying cyber patrol operations against terrorism and fake news on social media platforms, and conducting digital forensic examinations to gather evidence against cybercriminals.
“The Philippine National Police Anti-Cyber Crime Group's achievements in safeguarding the digital realm is aligned with our focused agenda on advancing our information and communication technology to suppress crimes through conduct of an honest and aggressive law enforcement operations,” PNP Chief Police Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. said.