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SEC warns against text scams using Duterte’s name

THE SECURITIES and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning the public against text scams that use the name of President Rodrigo R. Duterte relating to a charity raffle where the message recipients is supposed to have won thousands in pesos.

In an advisory on its website, the corporate regulator said it has received reports that a certain foundation, claiming to be named President: Rodrigo Duterte Charity Foundation, is sending text messages that it is giving away P750,000 through an electronic raffle.

“…President: Rodrigo Duterte Charity Foundation is not registered with the commission as a corporation. Further, the Policy and Specialized Supervision Sector of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has confirmed that the alleged electronic raffle is a fake,” the SEC said.

Based on its investigation, the SEC said that the text scams claim to be working with the central bank for a “Handog Maagang Pamasko Pangkabuhayan” and “Handog Pangkabuhayan” program.

It gives an approval number by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and tells the recipients to contact a hotline number to claim the prize.

A similar scam had been found by the SEC earlier this year, and accordingly, it issued an advisory against it on Apr. 2.

“[T]he public is hereby advised not to reply or call the hotline numbers given,” it said. “Should you receive any text scam, you are advised to report the matter to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Department of Trade and Industry, or this commission.”

The people behind the text scams are warned of criminal prosecution and penalties under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Cyber Crime Law and Data Privacy Act. This includes a two-month imprisonment, a fine of P10,000 to P1 million, or both. — Denise A. Valdez

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