June 14, 2024

Flower vendors and online sellers who were conned by a female scammer are coming out to file multiple counts of estafa against the latter through the Regional Anti-Cyber Crime Unit (RACU)-Cordillera.
RACU-Cordillera Asst. Chief Lt/Col. Divina Mencio said there are two confirmed complainants while four other individuals are currently gathering pieces of evidence against 26-year-old suspect, Rovi Anne Mari Traballo Fernandez, also known as “Gemmalyn Villanueva Flores”.
The suspect, who resides at Middle Quezon Hill, Baguio City, was arrested through an entrapment operation by RACU-COR and Baguio City Police Station 1 on Jan. 13.
The entrapment stemmed from the complaint of one of the victims who was duped with around P45,000 worth of various items including clothes, shoes, and money bouquets.
RACU-CAR Digital Forensic Section/Invest and Intel Section chief Maj. Annie Comising said the transaction happened online, where the suspect introduced herself as an overseas worker based in Alberta, Canada to her victim, who offers errands online. 
The suspect initially gave a downpayment for the items she ordered, prompting the victim to trust her. Comising said the suspect suggested she will pay her orders through Western Union.
It turned out the receipts sent by Fernandez via Facebook messenger were fake upon verification with Western Union. This prompted the victim to seek the help of the authorities.
Comising said they traced the whereabouts of the suspect because although different persons picked up the items, they were using the same motorcycle.
She said their team interviewed the riders who delivered the packages to the suspect, who also uses different addresses.
Comising reminds online sellers and business owners to be wary of scammers and that it is easy to fake receipts nowadays. 
“If there is a huge amount of money involved in your transaction, make sure that you are able to receive the payment first and better if it’s through online banking so you will be notified if the money comes in real time. If not, better to have the transaction face-to-face especially with huge cash involved,” she said.
Fernandez posted P36,000 bail for the cases of estafa filed against her as a result of the entrapment.
Also, on Jan. 17, the RACU-COR, BCPO, Benito Soliven Municipal Police Station and Dagupan City Police Station served the warrant of arrest of Fernandez for a case of theft in Isabela back in 2018.
The suspect and her family members are being accused of taking a pouch bag containing P34,500 cash when they attended a wedding in Isabela.
Mencio said investigation is ongoing if the suspect has other companions aiding her in duping people. – Ofelia C. Empian