Phishing is the top cybercrime in the Philippines during the pandemic. Online selling scams and fake news proliferation come second and third, respectively.

In a recent report by the National Bureau of Investigation Cyber Crimes Division (NBI-CCD), phishing cases grew by more than 200 percent during the quarantine. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, these were only around 30 but during the quarantine, authorities received an additional 70 cases. The NBI explained that the increase is because people are spending more time on their computers giving them the opportunity for do these crimes.

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Phishing activities are usually made through email, phone calls, or text messaging. Criminals obtain data such as passwords and details of their bank accounts or credit cards. Authorities remind the public to always check and validate their online activities. RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 punishes both phishing and online selling scams. Meanwhile, RA 11649 or Bayanihan to Heal as One Act penalizes online misinformation.

Online sexual exploitation of children, on the other hand, increased to nearly 270% during the quarantine. The Department of Justice encourages internet services providers (ISPs) to follow the mandatory installation of programs or software that would block access to child pornography as provided by the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 (RA 9755).

Authorities remind the public to secure their accounts and verify their online activities to avoid being victims of these crimes.

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