Tuesday, June 18, 2024

CICC taps CitizenWatch to address consumer fraud

The Cybercrime Investigation Coordinating Center (CICC) is engaging consumer advocacy group CitizenWatch Philippines to help stem the growing the cases of consumer fraud that usually targets poor consumers in the country.

CICC executive director Alexander K. Ramos and CitizenWatch Philippines lead convenor Orlando Oxales led the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on July 28 at the National Cybercrime Hub in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Ramos said that the MOA with CitizenWatch will help CICC reach targeted consumers and empower them through cybersecurity trainings and campaign.

“We would like to show to them that partnership with the government is the solution to resolving cybercrimes,” Ramos said.

Retired Supreme Court justice Andres Reyes, a CICC highly-technical consultant, said that consumer fraud will be one of the four major areas to be included in the proposed National Cyber Security Plan.

“It will be one of the first four policies at the top of the agenda of the cyber security plan of the Philippines because it affects not only the consumer but the poor consumer,” he said.

Oxales said that accessing the Internet has become an indispensable utility for daily transactions and interactions with the digital transformation of the government and private sectors.

“CitizenWatch Philippines is one with the Cybercrime Investigation Coordinating Center’s (CICC) campaign to safeguard our digital environment. It is with honor and great enthusiasm that CitizenWatch Philippines is partnering with the CICC to fight the rising cybercrime incidents victimizing the country’s consumers,” he said.

Based on statistics previously released by CICC, online fraud in Metro Manila rose from 1,551 in first half of 2022 to 4,446 in first half of 2023 or up 186 percent.

The Inter-Agency Response Center (IARC) of CICC received 364 complaints on online fraud during the first half of 2023 which accounts for 40 percent of the total 904 cybercrime complaints during the period.

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