Two resorts in Jagna town lost over P64,000 in a scam which used the name of the municipality’s mayor, Joseph Rañola, to get managers of the establishments to pay for various items including cellphone load.
The suspect, who one of the victim’s said sounded just like Rañola, used a single number (09973474230) to call and dupe the managers of Hotel Eight Fifty in Barangay Ipil and Jagna Rock Resort in Barangay Larapan into preparing a food, buying imported liquor and sending load, said Staff Sgt. Niel Bernel of the Jagna Police Station.
Hotel Eight Fifty and Jagna Rock Resort were scammed on the Thursday with calls to the resorts made just minutes apart. Managers from both resorts found out the they fell prey to a scammer after they went to Ranola’s office and were told that no such transactions were made by the mayor.
According to Bernel, the same suspect tried to apply the same modus at the Garden Café in Jagna but failed as the restaurant grew suspicious of the caller.
“Wa ma consummate tong sa Garden Café kay nakabantay man sila,” he said.
Police tried to trace the caller but Bernel noted that the number can no longer be contacted.
“Ang among hepe gipa-trace na tong numero na gihatag,” he said.
Jagna Rock Resort manager Gretchen Contreras told authorities that she first received a call from the suspect at 12 p.m. on Thursday.
The suspect who claimed to be Rañola reserved rooms for six people, ordered food and six bottles of imported liquor through multiple phone calls but ultimately ended up just asking to have cellphone load worth P2,000 sent to six numbers and worth P1,000 to the caller’s number.
“Iyo pud taw’n gi-comply tong request na nagpaila na si mayor kay nagtuo jud siya’g si mayor kay pareha man og tingog,” said Bernel.
Jerome Smith, assistant manager of Hotel Eight Fifty, shared a similar story but said that he sent P51,000 worth of cellphone load to 16 different numbers.
The local government unit of Jagna has already started to inform establishments in the town of the modus to prevent the same incidents.
Police in Jagna meanwhile has sought the assistance of the Philippine National Police’s cybercrime unit in efforts to locate the caller. (A. Doydora)