Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra warned the public on the rise of cyber-related crimes, especially phishing, amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“It is therefore imperative that law enforcement agencies beef up their cybercrime units, upgrade their technologies, and enhance their investigative capabilities,” advised Guevarra.

Phishing is an online crime that targets victims via email, telephone, or text message wherein the perpetrator poses as a legitimate institution or authority. The goal is to gather personal information or details related to banking and credit cards.

Gueverra also went on to warn two other leading cybercrime activities, namely online selling scams and proliferation of misinformation. The public is always advised to give a thorough check of whatever things they do on the Internet.

The DOJ cybercrime office also reported an overwhelming increase in the number of reported online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) during the last three months since the beginning of the quarantine.

To address this, the DOJ urged the country’s Internet service providers (ISPs) to comply with their legally-mandated duty to install or implement a protection software or program to prevent access to any form of child pornography.

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