- A former TV reporter was arrested for cyber identity theft and committing acts of fraud
- The suspect used a fake profile to solicit money from her victims
- She was arrested after her friend, whom she posed as, asked help from authorities
A former reporter in a local television station in Zamobanga City who has been allegedly swindling money using a fake social media account was arrested in an entrapment operation conducted by city police.
The suspect, Nathalyn Bello, pretended to conduct legal operations via a fake profile on Facebook and is believed to have fooled a number of online users into thinking they were getting into legitimate transactions.
Local radio station 89.9 Brigada Zamboanga DURU, quoting Police Station 7 Superintendent Haywien Salvado, earlier reported that Bello used the name of her friend, Fedierose Atilano, and pretended to solicit money from friends and family of the victim, to pay for the bills of a non-existent ill nephew.
The entrapment operation was set in place after Atilano confirmed that Bello was indeed using her name when one of those she solicited money from accused Atilano of fraud and demanded her money back.
The suspect declined to provide additional details to media and denied any involvement in the allegations of fraud thrown at her.
Local authorities said that Bello could be culpable for violating Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, after committing cyber identity theft, which is now considered a criminal act.
Police are also looking into the possibility that the suspect could have also committed other acts in posing online under a fake name for fraudulent transactions.
ABS-CBN News confirmed that Bello was indeed a former reporter and segment producer for one of its local programs in Zamboanga City.