It goes without saying that not everything on the internet is real. From bogus websites, devious scammers, and fraudulent individuals selling fake services/products, it's best to know if the site or page you're looking at is actually legitimate.
Just recently, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) warned the public to not engage or transact with a certain Facebook page that's posing as an LTO assistance account. The page, which is named 'LTO License Assistance', offers to process driver's licenses and student permits for a sizable fee.
They have various services that include Student Permits, Non-Professional Driver's Licenses, and Direct Non-Professional Driver's Licenses. Depending on the type of codes you want on your license/permit, the prices for services rendered range from PHP 3,500 all the way to PHP 9,500. There's even an option for a non-appearance which is an additional PHP 500 for every license/permit.
Clearly, the scammers are encouraging fixing through online means, as well as bypassing the driver's license exam which is now a requirement at the LTO. Not only that, but the fraudulent page also requires personal data which can be used by scammers for identity theft and other criminal activities.
The LTO cautions the public in providing these illegitimate pages their personal info and data. The government agency would also like to clarify that any individual that gets an issued license/permit from the bogus Facebook account or any other individual outside the LTO is counterfeit and invalid. This means any motorist caught driving with a fake driver's license will be met with stiff penalties.
As of today, the fake LTO account has since been removed from Facebook. While this is a good development, it could only mean that the scammers have gone to create another fraudulent account in order to scam people of money. With it, the LTO is calling on the public to report fake LTO accounts to stop their fraudulent activities.
We asked LTO chief Asec. Edgar Galvante as to what steps they're taking against these fixers. We don't expect him to take it sitting down, as he is a retired PNP director general.