Rent-a-condo scammers fall

August 15, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 298 views

AGENTS of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) on Friday arrested an Indian national and his Filipino pal accused of involvement in a ‘rent-a-condominium/apartment’ scam which has victimized dozens of unsuspecting victims, a report to PNP chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said.

PNP-ACG director, Brigadier Gen. Robert T. Rodriguez said that suspects

Krishna Chaitanya Ravinchander, a 34-year old male Indian from Chennai, India and tricycle driver Fernando Abejar Jr.,44, a resident of N. Gonzales Street in Mandaluyong City were arrested in an entrapment operation inside the Shane E-Load located at 490 Boni Avenue 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Both are facing charges for computer-related identity theft under Section 4 (b) of Republic Act 10175 otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and swindling/estafa under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to RA 10175, Rodriguez said.

The PNP-ACG director said the sting was conducted following a complaint from Norshaymah Mamacotao,25; and Gladys Ravichander,34, both Metro Manila residents who sought their assistance in arresting the suspects.

Members of the PNP-ACG led by Lieutenant Marlon Flores arrested the suspects.

An investigation conducted by PNP Cybercops led by Lt. Colonel Robert Bongayon Jr. showed that last July 8, one of the complainants who was then searching for an apartment which she can rent-to-own found the FB account ‘Gladz Agurayab’ and asked the person to reserve the unit she was offering.

The suspect presented an ID card bearing the name Krishna Chaitanya and a G-Cash account under the same name as proof of her identity.

Convinced that she was dealing with a legitimate person, Mamacotao sent a total of P18,000 to the latter thru her G-Cash account as payment for the apartment rental.

However, after several days of waiting for the turnover of the apartment, the complainant said the notice did not come and the person even blocked her from her Facebook account.

Last Friday, the victim discovered that Krishna Chaitanya’ was using another Facebook account under the name of ‘Alyzza Ortiz’ and learned that there were several posts about complaints of the same nature with the two persons using the same ID.

The woman contacted ‘Krishna Chaitanya’ and ordered an IPhone 12 Pro Max from her. When the person insisted that she make a P2,500 down payment thru Smart Padala using the FB account’ Alyzza Ortiz,’ the complainant contacted the PNP-ACG.

During the sting, the two suspects were caught in the act of helping each other withdraw the money sent by the complainant.

Both were immediately taken to Camp Crame for booking and filing of appropriate criminal charges. Rodriguez called on other persons who may have been victimized by the suspects to come to their office and file charges against the accused.