12 OFWs VICTIMS OF ONLINE SHOPPING SCAM SEEK CIDG ASSISTANCE

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union- Twelve Overseas Filipino Workers have sought the assistance of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group based in the province in establishing the true identify and possible arrest of Ilocos-based Facebook account holders who victimized them in an online shopping scam.

Supt. Richard Verceles, CIDG Deputy Director, identified the victims as Elve Vendal of Davao City, a caregiver in Taiwan; Angelus Garcia Cruz of Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan, a domestic helper in Singapore ; Janlielon Angeles , Genalyn Ongee De Jesus, Maria Teresa Maurillo all of Binangonan, Rizal; Carmela Alumbro of Maasin, Leyte; Lanie Arojado San Andres of Dinalupihan, Bataan, who works in Kuwait ; and a certain Mariedel Go.

They were all victimized by a certain Cristy Cogay who allegedly resides at 22 Barangay Lingsat here, according to her social media address.

The other OFWs were identified as Ellen de la Cruz of San Carlos City, Pangasinan, who was allegedly conned by a certain Errich Joi D Cena; Jerrylen Parayaoan, 30, of San Carlos City, Pangasinan; and Norminda Talog of Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan, domestic helpers in Kuwait and Singapore, respectively.

Earlier, Vendal sought the help of the City Information Media Bureau here for the identity of Cogay, who was supposed to be a resident of Barangay Lingsat. But available records showed that Cogay was not a resident of said village.

Vendal said she sent Cogay P27,000 through the money transfer services of a company as payment of several laptops and cellphones she ordered on line for her and her friends, but the electronic gadgets, she said, never reached them in Taiwan.

All pointed to Cogay, whom they befriended in the social media network, as the person who offered them electronic gadgets, shoes and dresses in an online sale. They paid her in cash though several money transfers but the goods were never shipped to them, they said.

After taking their cash money, Cogay disappeared in her FB account and made use of another social media account to victimize others, they said.

As soon as they learned of Vendal’s plight, more OFWs allegedly conned by Cogay surfaced and sought help from this writer through Facebook and telephone communications.

They forwarded screen shots and messages of Cogay in the transactions they made with her on line.

According to Vendal, Cogay used FB accounts such as Cristeta Godilos, Cher Annie DC Goodiilos, Errych Cher Joy Mercado Decena, Cristy Leighianne Anne R. RuaCo, Cherry Ann Rualizo (Amparo), among others. The same photo of Cogay were used in all of the accounts.

Dela Cruz said that she sent P8, 000 to Cena as payment for electronic gadgets but Cena, she said deactivated the Facebook account immediately and lost track of her since then.

“When I searched for other accounts, I found that she was using another account again with the same profile picture and details about her business online. When I tried to post her a message, she immediately blocked me, ” she recalled.

In the case of Daroy, she said, she sent Cogay last August 2 a total of P20,000 through money transfers as payment for 9 units of Samsung S-3 and rubber shoes and children clothes including three sandals, but the items were never sent to her.

Parayaoan ordered an I-pad unit worth Php 6, 300, but the gadget did not arrived after she made the payment to Cogay.

Two of the victims said that Cogay used a Baguio City address in her FB account.

Verceles disclosed that his office will help the victims by sending affidavits certified by Philippine consular offices located in their places of work.

He instructed the victims to also attach their screenshots and whatever evidences like money sender receipts for the probe.

“We can check which IP (Internet Protocol Address) address the suspects were using in communicating with their victims,” he said, saying it was one possible way to locate the culprits. William Jun Garcia/NorthboundPH