Saturday, April 21, 2012

Call center agent nabbed for Facebook 'identity theft'

Technology nowadays has gone dynamic, and crimes such as cyber-bullying and identity theft have been an issue for years.

And for Louella Tan, whose looks cannot compensate to what Filipino-Norweigan model Janka Cederstam's beauty has, identity theft is an option to earn money. She allegedly created a fake Facebook account to use Cederstam's pictures and info to meet an Australian online boyfriend.

Tan, who used the alias "Jen Matheson" on the site, is a call center agent. Her Australian "boyfriend", whose identity was not revealed, said the suspect had convinced him to send money to the Philippines because she claimed there is no one to support her financially as both her parents are dead.

Cederstam received a call from an Australian who claimed that he met "Matheson" through Facebook. Upon knowing that someone has been using her identity, she immediately filed a complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against the theft.

The NBI conducted a string operation, which resulted to the arrest of Tan, while she was collecting the money sent by the Australian.

"Nag-create siya ng new account, binago ang name pero pinalitaw na same person. Dahil maganda ang nasa picture, maraming nag-add as friends. Eventually had a relationship with this Australian national. ‘Yung Australian national naman, believing na may online relationship sila, was enticed to send money via Western Union dito sa Pilipinas," said NBI's Technical Investigation Division chief Palmer Mallari.

Cederstam posted in her Facebook page:

"It puts mine and my family's reputation at stake! I'll start deleting 'friends' on FB, will just keep those I'm actually close to as I see my photos on different websites even though it is set on private. To all the posers out there, stop doing what you're doing because you will get caught and brought to JAIL, just like this chick who we tracked for 3 and a half weeks now."

Tan will face charges of estafa, violation of the E-Commerce Law and illegal use of alias.

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