Identity Theft on Facebook
by Atty. Andrea Juarez
For the past 24 hours, there have been an overwhelming number of reports regarding fake Facebook accounts assuming the identities of other persons. Some of these accounts are empty, with either no friends or a few friends. There are also no posts or any activity. However, some have reported that the doppelganger accounts use photos and some personal information. These accounts also have a certain URL format: https://www.facebook.com/firstname.username.numbers.
The National Privacy Commission (NPC) came up with an infographic on how to report fake accounts.
Those aggrieved may file a complaint with the NPC.
Go to the website: https://www.privacy.gov.ph/complaints-assisted/
According to the NPC, a formal complaint needs to be filed in a specific format. You may use the downloadable form provided in the website and follow these steps:
- Download the Form
- Print and fill out
- Have it notarized
- Then submit to NPC (3 options):
- in person
- send via courier service, or
- scan and email it to email@example.com
For inquiries, go to the NPC website https://www.privacy.gov.ph/askpriva/
You would be asked to provide your name, e-mail address, and to explain what your concern is about and to send these information to the NPC.
You may also call the trunkline: NPC Trunk line No: 8234-2228
For registration & compliance concerns– 118
For complaints– 114
For advisory opinions– 110
For other inquiries– 117
Under Section 4 (b) (3) of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, Computer-related Identity Theft is the intentional acquisition, use, misuse, transfer, possession, alteration or deletion of identifying information belonging to another, whether natural or juridical, without right: Provided, That if no damage has yet been caused, the penalty imposable shall be one (1) degree lower.
Any person found guilty of violating this shall be punished with imprisonment of prision mayor (6 years and 1 day to 12 years) or a fine of at least Two hundred thousand pesos (PhP200,000.00) up to a maximum amount commensurate to the damage incurred or both. If no damage has been caused yet, the penalty would be prision correccional (6 months and one day to 6 years).
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of this law. Among the authorized powers of these agencies are:
- Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data
- Preservation of Computer Data
- Disclosure of Computer Data
- Search, Seizure, and Examination of Computer Data
- Custody of Computer Data
- Destruction of Computer Data