The impostor in the Globe SIM swap scam was nabbed by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) over the weekend in Calamba City, Laguna province (south of Manila).
Franco Yap de Lara and a companion fell in an entrapment.
An informant gave to The Manila Times the name of the companion but he requested that it be kept anonymous since he was not certain of its veracity.
NBI agent Anna Lira Labao refused to divulge to this paper the details of the entrapment.
But an insider at the bureau, who asked not to be named, said a complainant, another would-be victim, contacted de Lara.
The impostor agreed to meet him for a transaction that the informant was not privy to. The entrapment was swift and de Lara and his companion did not resist arrest.
De Lara, allegedly a former car agent of Toyota, used information about his prospects and clients to be able to gain access to their e-mails and later make money transfers via online banking.
“His job as car sales agent has given him an access to his clients’ data, like cellular phone numbers, addresses and email addresses, including photo copies of their IDs,” another NBI informant told The Manila Times.
De Lara’s downfall started last July 2 when a certain Ian Caballeros complained to a Globe store at SM North Edsa in Quezon City that his post-paid account suddenly went dead. He was told that the SIM was changed upon request of a man.
A review of a footage from the closed-circuit television revealed that Franco de Lara presented himself as a certain Jonathan Gaspar, who allegedly was sent by Caballeros to request SIM change.
The issue became controversial after a series of radio interviews with Caballeros.
Globe, through Carlos Neypes, the telecommunication company’s head of the Security Anti-Fraud and Investigation Department, went to the NBI and sought an investigation.
Neypes denied that Globe was in connivance with de Lara, as suspected by some.
Indeed, the NBI found that de Lara has been victimizing several individuals, mostly people who are known to him, including friends and former fellow employees in companies he had worked with.
De Lara goes into action once the SIM card is changed.
With the new card, he would be able to open the email address of his victim.
De Lara then starts transferring money online.
Caballeros said he was able to prevent the transfer of P48,000 immediately after he was also told by Globe that someone went to their store and requested a SIM swap last July 2.
Five individuals have been victimized by de Lara.
One was divested of P200,000, another P180,000, and the others of lesser amounts.
De Lara is being held at NBI headquarters in Manila.
He is facing charges of violation of Cybercrime Prevention Act, Access Device Law (Republic Act 8484) and Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code or falsification of documents.