Monday, June 24, 2024

Hontiveros alarmed as PH becoming scam hotspot in the world

Sen. Risa Hontiveros has expressed alarm over reports that the Philippines is becoming one of the fastest growing hotspots for scams in the world.

Hontiveros, who presided over a public inquiry conducted by the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, on human trafficking and cyber fraud operations Tuesday, May 7, said information from the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) revealed that almost all large-scale investigations on cyberfraud and cyberscams in the world has a traceable connection to the Philippines.

“Scams, national security threats, human trafficking are all mixed up. If these scam hubs are so lucrative, it won’t stop. This will just grow and grow. And before we know it, we will be faced with a threat to our national security like nothing we have ever seen before,” Hontiveros warned.

She said PAOCC information revealed that Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) are also operating scam hubs, citing a large modern complex in Bamban, Tarlac as an example.

Hontiveros said the committee has invited the Bamban mayor, who was linked to the scam hub operation, to shed light on the matter.

Hontiveros asserted that there are legitimate POGOs that provide a “legal cover” to scam hubs.

“It does not abate my worries the least that separate sources in the intelligence community and various executive agencies are sounding the alarm of large tracts of land around EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) sites being purchased by Chinese nationals with Filipino identity documents,” she said.

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