UP Professor Warns Against “Gun for Hire” Scam

MANILA, Philippines- A faculty member of the University of the Philippines has warned netizens not to fall prey to “gun for hire scam”.

In his lengthy Facebook post, Sir Anril Pineda Tiatco recounted his harrowing experience with a gun for hire scammer. On Tuesday, December 6, he received a text message from a certain Mark Flores with mobile number 09150495879.


S Anril Pineda Tiatco

To his surprise, Flores claimed that he was a hitman and someone paid him P300,000 to have him killed.

“Hitman kasi ako, at napagutusang ipatumba ka at ang iyong pamilya. Nagbayad ng 300,000.00 yung nagpapatumba sa ‘yo.”

This caused Tiatco to panic and turn off his cellphone. Minutes later, he received a death threat from mobile number 09125274338. Tiatco was told that if he fails to take action, he and his family will be harmed.

He then received another phone call from Flores. This time, Tiatco was told that he knew he was working at UP DIliman. The scammer then asked for P70,000 in exchange for his life.

“May mga tauhan na ako na nakapaligid sa yo at sa mga mahal mo sa buhay. Pero kaya kitang bigyan ng proteksiyon. May mga nagastos na mga tao ko, Php 70,000.00. Ibalik mo lang ito – hindi na kita ipapatumba,” Flores said.

Tiatco was instructed to send the amount to a certain Gracia D. Reyes, a supposed hitman of Flores.

After receiving several calls and texts, Tiatco went to Camp Crame to report the incident. At Camp Crame, Tiatco encountered another victim of the said scam, also from UP.

He then issued some tips to prevent being victimized by gun for hire scam.

  1. Don’t put your mobile or contact number in the Internet particularly social media or company websites. If your contact number is included in your curriculum vitae, delete it if you’re going to upload it.
  2. Don’t panic. Stay calm so you can think clearly and logically,
  3. Don’t answer a call from a person you don’t know.
  4. Be logical.
  5. Immediately report such encounter  to the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group at 414-1560.

What is a hitman?

A hitman is a hired murderer or a person paid to kill a specific person.. He or she is usually in the pay of a crime syndicate, like the mafia.

These hired killers have been in existence in the US since the 1920s, but the term only dates to the 1970s.