BCPO told to probe boarding house scam
City Mayor Benjamin Magalong has directed the Baguio City Police Office under Col. Glenn Lonogan to investigate the reported boarding house scam, which continues to victimize students.
The ruse was first reported last August while the city was preparing for the influx of students from different provinces and cities in time for the resumption of face-to-face classes.
A concerned homeowner in Baguio has alerted the City Mayor’s Office on Aug. 8 that a photo of the façade of her residence had been used by a poseur who conned a number of students into paying reservation fees supposedly for boarding and lodging. Transactions were made online.
“We have issued warnings and advisories but these scammers have continued to victimize students. We need a thorough investigation on this,” the mayor said.
Lonogan said the BCPO’s Anti-Cybercrime Division will handle the investigation.
Magalong has cautioned students and even tourists to be wary of their accommodation transactions by making sure they are dealing with the real owners or their authorized agents before agreeing to the deal or transferring any payment.
Students were advised to negotiate with the owners of the establishments personally and onsite. If not, they can verify by calling the Permits and Licensing Division at (074) 619-3184 to confirm the names of registered owner/s and their contact numbers.
For tourists, the City Tourism Operations Office has advised visitors to transact only with accommodation establishments listed under visita.baguio.gov.ph. or call hotline (074) 446-2009, 0956-572-9097 (7 a.m. to 4 p.m.); 0956-572-9093 (2 to 11 p.m.); 0956-572-9094 (10 p.m. to 7 a.m.) to verify if the person they are transacting with is really affiliated with legitimate accommodation establishments. – Aileen P. Refuerzo