PNP cybercops smash fake online job recruitment ring

February 05, 2019

SIX persons accused of setting up a fraudulent human resource company which has gained notoriety for duping job applicants since last year were arrested by agents of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group during a raid on Monday in Caloocan City.

PNP-ACG director Chief Superintendent Marni C. Marcos Jr. said cybercops led by Supts. Honesto Lazo Jr. and Mary Ivy Salazar stormed the fraudulent human resource company located at the MP Building at the corner of Susano Street and 6th Avenue, in Caloocan City and arrested Jessa Marabi, 25; Jasmin Arevalo, 25; Aljean May Ababat, 22; Christine Joyce Gerolia, 25; Karren Grace Parlan, 26; and Kevin Gilbuen, 24, on the strength of a warrant issued by Judge Maria Victoria Soriano Villadolid.

Marcos said Parlan was the fake company’s assistant human resource manager while Marabi was one of her assistants. The rest of the suspects were described as company “coordinators”.  

Recovered during the raid were assorted computer sets, cellphones, documents and other gadgets being used by the suspects in their fraudulent activities, said the PNP-ACG director.

Marcos said they conducted the raid based on the complaint of officials of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a famous coffee house chain against the operators and employees of SA-1 Human Resource Services. The suspects were accused of misrepresenting the coffee shop chain and enticing job finders to join them.

Once job applicants apply to their office, they are  asked to produce money reportedly needed for some clearances and other fees. The victims would later discover that they have been referred to a different company and that they will find their applicants being turned down despite having paid the fees required by the fake company.

“The internet, particularly the social media, has been used as a venue by criminals in the past years. These individuals can exhibit a wide range of self-interest and motivation to act as predators under the cloak of anonymity or sometimes even somebody else’s identity,” the PNP-ACG director said.

Marcos added that cybercrimes are an inevitable downside of modern technologies, such as the use of the internet in promoting unscrupulous schemes like fake job postings and more. “So we remind the public to be extravigilant on the internet and try not to fall prey to these types of crimes by being mindful not only in their interactions online, but also with the offers they get. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, then it’s probably a scam”.

Cases for swindling/estafa in relation to the Republic Act No. 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) are being prepared for filing against the suspects.