Beware of love scams as Valentine’s Day approaches

Interior Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. warned the public about the prevalence of love scams as Valentine’s Day approaches. During a press conference at Malacañang on Tuesday, Abalos highlighted the potential for syndicates to take advantage of the romantic holiday. He emphasized that these scammers target vulnerable individuals, exploit their weaknesses, and use deception to swindle them out of money. The Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Benjamin Acorda also confirmed that online swindling, including love scams, was the top cybercrime in the Philippines in 2023, with 15,000 incidents reported to the PNP. Abalos further noted that love scam offenses could result in imprisonment under the Revised Penal Code and the Cybercrime Prevention Act, with penalties being one degree higher for offenses committed in cyberspace. With the prevalence of digital communication and online interactions, it is crucial for the public to remain vigilant and cautious, especially during times when scammers may try to take advantage of emotions associated with special occasions like Valentine’s Day.

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