The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) probed lesser online financial scams in 2021 compared to those in 2020, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Monday, Jan. 3.
DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand S. Sugay, who has supervision over the NBI, said that in 2021 “1,402 cases were docketed, 11 of which were filed with the NPS (National Prosecution Service).”
“In 2020, NBI docketed 2,022 cases involving cyber-related offenses. Twenty-five of these were filed with the NPS for preliminary investigation,” he noted.
Sugay said that the most common “cybercrime scams” reported to the NBI were “love scams, investment scams, compromised business emails, utility bills payment scams, and online shopping scams.”
“We have observed that fraudsters still use social engineering and psychological manipulation techniques in order to convince unwitting and vulnerable people to divulge their confidential/personal information online,” he said.
On the other hand, Sugay admitted that not all online scams taking place in the country are reported to the NBI.
Because of this, he said, “there is an urgent need indeed to consolidate statistical information from records of financial institutions, online shopping and payment platforms, and even money remittance entities.”
To keep up with fraudsters, Sugay assured that the NBI is “geared towards the acquisition of state-of-the-art investigative and intelligence equipment, as well as the establishment of a cyber-investigation and assessment center, under the aegis and guidance of the NBI Reorganization and Modernization Act (Republic Act No. 10867).”
He also said the NBI has been involved in information drives on social media and other platforms, and in random scanning of social media platforms to identify online chatter indicating future attacks.
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