Sarmiento warned the public against a group pretending to represent his office. The scammers allegedly asked for donations from friends, supporters, and even business people from the transport industry for the typhoon victims.
“The office of one of our colleagues called to verify if I’m seeking assistance in the form of cash donation for the victims of the calamity. Please be informed that there is no such activity or any donation drive,” Sarmiento clarified in a statement.
Sarmiento said the scammers are using politicians’ names, showbiz personalities, and prominent personalities in the business sector to get huge amounts of money from their victims, who are mostly his wealthy friends and supporters.
“ While we are appealing for help for tens of thousands of families who lost their homes, properties and the lives of their loved ones, we should make sure that our donations do not end up in the hands of these unscrupulous syndicates who are preying on the misfortunes of other people,” Sarmiento said.
Solon urges PNP, NBI to go after donation scammers
Some groups previously warned the public against relief donation scammers spreading on social media.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, donations should not be made immediately. Those who wish to extend help should carefully evaluate the recipients of their cash or in-kind donation. It said some just fool and profit from the goodness of the people who want to help.
A donation scammer could face an estafa case under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
Under this form of estafa, there are also three ways of committing simple estafa under Article 315(1)(b) of the RPC, namely, a) by misappropriating the thing received; b) by converting the thing received; and c) by denying that the thing was received.
The term misappropriation or conversion connotes “an act of using or disposing of another’s property as if it were one’s own or of devoting it to a purpose or use different from that agreed upon.”