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Cases of identity theft increasing, Filipinos cautioned

by Kiko Cueto

THE cases of identity theft had increased, the Philippine National Police (PNP) warned.

That is why the PNP had reminded the public to be more cautious in giving out personal information online.

They also warned the public against clicking website links.

PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) director Maj. Gen. Sydney Hernia said that the cyber identity theft cases had increased by 12.2 percent last year.

According to a statement from Hernia, they were able to log 1,597 cyber identity theft cases in 2023, from 1,402 cases in 2022.

Hernia said that the number of offenses is subject to the penalties outlined in Section 4 (b) of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

At present, there are 20 suspects that were arrested in two years.

This was done through inquest and regular filing, while other cases are under investigation or referred to other agencies.

Hernia said that there are some cases that where resolved under the criteria of “beyond police control,” which include complainant-related issues such as failure to submit requirements, refusal to prosecute, record-keeping requests, or challenges in locating the individuals.

“Cyber identity theft occurs when individuals unknowingly share sensitive information through methods like phishing, scams, or downloading malicious software. Cybercriminals exploit social media platforms and insecure networks, compromised ATMs, and target data breaches on company, government, or educational websites,” Hernia said.

He said netizens must refrain from sharing unnecessary personal information online, clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources, and look for “https://” in the URL when entering sensitive information on websites.

“By following these tips and staying vigilant, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cyber identity theft. Always be proactive in managing your online presence and protecting your personal information,” Hernia said. 



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