Yet another scam was uncovered by the National Bureau of Investigation-Cordillera after an online seller sought help versus scammers from Rizal province who promised huge returns from money investments.
Heidi Joy Ackiadan Belino, an online seller from Bakakeng Norte, here and her clients were allegedly scammed by Leandro Martinez Maranan III and Daisylyn Vidal Ocampo alias Sara Jean Anibo, both of Wawa, Pililla, Rizal, NBI-CAR agents found out.
Belino reportedly met the suspect Ocampo through Facebook on January 2021 where she saw the posts of the latter looking for people who wanted to earn and save money.
Ocampo convinced Belino to invite people to buy “pasalo slots” where the money they will invest will earn within days. Belino was told that “pasalo slots” are similar to “paluwagan” only that it is a one-time payment. The so-called earnings will come from “tradings” and “business”.
Belino was convinced to believe Ocampo when she saw the facebook posts of more than 100 pay-out receipts, pictures of Ocampo and Bureau of Internal Revenue-Tax Income Number (BIR) Card. She was finally convinced when she saw another post of Ocampo where an “investor” who have received the pay-out the same day the person availed of the “pasalo slot”.
Belino was told to send payments thru Ocampo’s Unionbank account.
For two months, the transactions between Belino and Ocampo went smoothly as the former received pay-outs and even commissions from recruiting people to buy “pasalo slots”. Ocampo assured her victim that as long as there are continuous flow of “pay-ins”, the “trades” will not crumble so she should recruit more.
Belino gave Ocampo a total of P85,000.00 while her “downlines” paid the total of P2,800,000.00.
On April 2021, problems came and Belino have to refund the money of her “downlines” as she was threatened to be sued or to be exposed over popular television and radio program “Raffy Tulfo in Action”.
The victim personally refunded around P200,000.00 to some of her downlines from her savings including her previous earnings.
Ocampo kept on telling Belino to do morepay-ins” to help in refunding their clients because the money was sunk into “investments”, or into “trades”, binance or into the stock market.
Belino however was left nothing but to pay back her downlines.
NBI however found out that the account Ocampo told Belino to send money is named after Leandro Martinez Maranan III as confirmed by Union Bank. It was also found out that people seemed to have been fooled into investing in the “pasalo scheme” have been demanding Maranan III of refunds.
Upon digging further, the NBI discovered that there are alleged scam victims of Maranan III and a cohort, who has gone into hiding, dating back to 2020.
“What happened to Belino and her clients has all the marks of a scam and a disguised version of a scam,” said lawyer Hector Eduard Geologo, NBI CAR regional director. “The promise of earnings to double or more of the money invested in a short time is imposible to fulfill legitimately,” added Geologo.
NBI-CAR has already filed charges versus Maranan III and his cohorts.
Geologo said “these kinds of scams victimizing our already financially-distraught people must halt but also teach lessons to would-be victims as well as crooks.”