Escudero wants harsher punishment for online scammers

Former Senator now Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Reelectionist senator and incumbent Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero on Thursday said laws should be updated so harsher penalties would be imposed against online scammers.

According to him, the next Congress should prioritize amending the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998 and the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to increase jail terms and fines for cybercriminals.

“Online scams should be treated as major criminal offenses and should carry a penalty that is severe enough to make scammers think twice about victimizing hard-working Filipinos,” he said in a statement.

Escudero made this call after the Land Bank of the Philippines revealed on Monday that teachers who lost money in their bank accounts had fallen victims to a phishing scam.

READ: Landbank: Teachers who lost money fell victims to phishing scam

It also comes after the bank accounts of some 700 depositors were hacked in December last year.

READ: DOJ: Impatience to get money did hackers in

Escudero said violation of the Access Devices Regulation Act carries imprisonment of six to 20 years and a fine of P10,000 or twice the value obtained through illegal means.

Under the Cybercrime Prevention Act, meanwhile, the senatorial aspirant said misuse of devices carries a fine of not more than P500,000 and/or jail time of six to 12 years.


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