Investigators from the police-run Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) arrested a 35-year-old man for credit fraud amounting to just under P 300,000. The fraudulent purchases were made using a credit card issued in the name of a man who died two years ago.
Eamon Criz Madriaga, the identity thief and man responsible for the purchases amounting to P287,801.34 , was busted by operatives in a sting operation held on Friday.
According to ACG chief Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, Madriaga, was nabbed in Mandaluyong City on February 13 when undercover agents pretended to be couriers delivering a new credit card to the suspect. The agents apprehended Madriaga when the latter presented an identification card with the name of the deceased person.
Authorities were alerted to the identity theft and fraudulent activity when a local bank filed a complaint with law firm Baterina Baterina Casals Lozada & Tiblani about a man who was charging his purchases – such as groceries and an electric motorcycle – to a credit card under the name of a dead person.
Meanwhile, the credit card company’s suspicions were raised when the suspect charged goods amounting to almost P.3 million in a span of only two days.
Sosa theorized that it is possible Madriaga had a contact inside the bank, thereby allowing him access to the information of the deceased; an angle which officials are currently investigating.
“Under the modus operandi, the credit card of the dead person will be delivered to their conspirator and will be used to buy items from different merchants. The items will be sold at a lower price as (they) divide the proceeds,” Sosa said.
Madriaga faces charges for violating Republic Act 8484, the Access Device Act of 1998, Sosa added.