SIM scam impostor wanted for estafa, falsification

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The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has uncovered the identity of the impostor in the SIM swap scam and it was learned that he has a standing warrant of arrest for estafa and falsification of documents.

Franco de Lara was identified as the man who posed as Ian Caballeros at a Globe Telecoms store at SM North Annex sometime last July 2.

An NBI source told The Manila Times that the estafa case has nothing to do with the July 2 incident.

But he said the case of falsification of documents is similar to the SIM card swap modus operandi.


“But we will serve the warrant and we hope to solve this case as soon as possible,” said the NBI informant, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to give interviews to the media.

A footage showing de Lara inside the Globe store was shown on Thursday to a few media men, including this reporter.

On Thursday afternoon, Caballeros went to the NBI.

His lawyer, Francis Acero, however, requested The Manila Times not to write about the proceedings of the meeting between investigators and his client so as not to derail the probe.

Another meeting is set for Monday next week.

The next step is for the investigators to determine how and when to serve the warrant of arrest to de Lara.

NBI agent Anna Lira Labao refused to divulge to this paper the details of plans to get the impostor.

Last July 2, Caballeros claimed that his post-paid phone had suddenly turned dead, prompting him to inquire from Globe.

An employee informed him that somebody went to the outlet store and was issued a new SIM card.

Caballeros denied he had authorized anybody to transact business for him and immediately asked the store to identify the impostor through their closed-circuit television footage.

It was learned later that somebody attempted to transfer P48,00 from his BDO account to somebody’s Security Bank account.

Globe and NBI probers, who have analyzed the incident through “technical investigation,” are looking into the relationship between Caballeros and de Lara.

The NBI source said it was impossible for de Lara to know all personal information about Caballeros because he was able to present an authorization letter and two identification cards, the requirements he used in requesting a change of SIM card.

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