USJ-R warns public against new modus

Wenilyn Sabalo

A PRIVATE university in Cebu has warned against a new scam uncovered by authorities regarding the unauthorized solicitation of cash by a man bringing the name of the school.

The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) called on the public to immediately report to the police any encounter they might have with the suspect who claimed to be a student of USJ-R while asking for monetary help.

In an official statement released Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, USJ-R said that one such incident was recorded when the man, who used the aliases Christian Castro and Phillip Arabejo, went to Tisa Elementary School and introduced himself as a graduating nursing student of the university.

“Yesterday (Wednesday, Nov. 6), a friend of a public school teacher in Barangay Tisa contacted USJ-R to verify whether the ID shown was legitimate. We denied the legitimacy of the ID based on the picture sent to us,” read a portion of the statement.

“As seen in a recorded CCTV footage of a school in Tisa, the person in question evaded when he was apprehended by the school guard,” the statement added.

To dupe would-be victims into giving him money, the suspect, who was later identified as Joselito dela Cerna Paras Jr., a former student of USJR, shows a fake school identification card (ID), prospectus, study load and other documents bearing the seal of USJ-R.

USJ-R denies the validity of the person’s claim and plans to file formal complaints against Paras Jr. for violation of Article 178 (Using of fictitious name and concealing true name) of the Revised Penal Code.

The school also appealed to government agencies for help in spreading awareness on the existence of the modus operandi.

To protect the public from fraudulent acts of this nature, the university shared the key features of its school ID: the student in the photo is wearing the official school uniform, the printed font is clear, a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sticker is posted at the back which bears the date of the ID’s validity, and ID cards issued from 2017 and beyond have an embedded bar code. WBS with PR