A public school teacher, Mark Joseph Lontok, had recently discovered that he is deep in debt by Php800,000 ($16,800) from three banks because some crooks made a copy of the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) ID license he posted on Facebook after he passed the board exams.
It was too late for him to realize that he did not blur out major details from his ID, resulting to the criminals easily making a fake one and use it to take out loans under his name.
Sadly, the banks had no idea that the IDs were fake; thus, the loans were released to the crooks – and Lontok is now paying for these loans in deductions from his monthly salary. One of the banks has already been deducting Php9,000 ($190) from his salary every month while the second one is set to deduct a monthly payment of Php10,000 ($210) soon. The third bank is likely to follow shortly.
It was from one of the banks that Lontok was able to find photos of the guy who posed as him to take the loans; he is now coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) so these crooks could be arrested.
Meanwhile, he is suffering from the huge monthly deductions from his already small salary as public school teacher. He could only hope that the banks would stop deducting the payments from his salary since they were, after all, also at fault for not conducting a more thorough background check on the supposed “teacher” who filed the loan with them.
The NBI has also discovered that Lontok was not the first victim of such modus operandi. It was revealed that another public school teacher was also victimized, possibly by the same group that copied his information.
Tips for Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft on Social Media
Many of us take social media for granted, even posting personal and sensitive information for the world to see. But now that we know that crooks could steal our information and use it for their own gains, here are some tips to help us protect our identity on social media:
- Be careful what you post, especially if it contains sensitive information
- Do not post IDs, complete address, bank information, and similar data
- If possible, do not post your full birthday and full name – especially if crooks can easily deduce your mother’s maiden name from it
- Try to not to post too much information about yourself, including current position and name/address of your employment
- As much as possible, do not post your phone/mobile number on social media
- Protect your social media accounts using strong passwords