Remember when the Land Transportation Office (LTO) warned the public not to patronize Facebook-based fixers? Well, the government agency is now on the hunt to apprehend the online-based scammers to stop any more of their illegal activities.
But how does the government agency plan on actually apprehending the criminals? Our Editor-in-Chief, Vince Pornelos, managed to get in contact with LTO Asec. Edgar Galvante.
According to Galvante, who is a retired PNP Director-General, said that they have been working alongside the Philippine National Police (PNP) to apprehend suspects. Recently, the LTO and the PNP were able to arrest a woman that was offering their illegal service in Region 6. Later on, the woman pointed out her cohorts that were operating similar fixing operations.
“Every time postings like this are seen in social media, we immediately issue an advisory to the public, informing that this is a scam and should not be patronized,” said Galvante.
But what about last week's post wherein a dubious Facebook page called 'LTO License Assistance' was offering online services? Galvante mentioned that their team has already engaged the services of the Facebook-based fixer to get some leads. However, they have yet to get a reply from the said page. Galvante says that the operators of the online fixing page may have suspected a buy-bust type operation is being prepared and decided to abandon the page to cover their tracks.
With more fixers turning to social media, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered the LTO to continue working with the PNP. They will also work with the NBI to investigate and capture the online fixers.
“Mali ‘ho ito. Huwag nating tangkilikin ang ganitong sistema at iwasan natin ang ganitong pamamaraan,” said Tugade.
[This is wrong. Let's not patronize this system and avoid this kind of method]
Tugade also reminded the public that driver's licenses acquired through illegal means are fake and invalid. Any motorist caught with a fake driver's license/student permit will be met with a PHP 3,000 fine, and will be banned from driving a motor vehicle for one year.
The next time you see an online-based 'LTO license assistance' page on Facebook and it looks too good to be true, it's probably an online fixer. It's best to report these pages as fake, or better yet, inform the LTO. Not only are these online fixers doing illegal activity, but they also gather personal data that can be used for identity theft and other criminal activities.