UP Community Targeted in Suspicious Identity Theft Plot

The fake accounts are suspected to cause harm.
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Students and alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP) have raised the alarm as several fake Facebook accounts bearing the same names have been discovered.

These fake, duplicate accounts usually have no profile photo and zero activity, sharing only the same username as UP students. The suspicious accounts were first brought to light by UP Cebu student publication Tug-ani. After a closer look, the UP community found that the accounts weren’t just limited to UP Cebu, but also UP Mindanao, UP Diliman, and more.

The UP Office of the Student Regent reacted to the situation, stating that, “These are accounts are suspected to cause harm and spread false information.”

Tug-ani expressed student concerns that these dummy accounts involve “identity theft and targeted attacks against UP students.”

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But it’s not just students being targeted. Alumni, professors, and even the chancellor of UP Cebu are victims of suspected identity theft.

In a Facebook post, UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro shared that she also discovered fake Facebook accounts claiming to be her, describing the situation as “eerie.”

“Who could be behind this?” posted Corro. “Posts might be made in these fake accounts to be passed off as made by the alleged account holder to incriminate the person. Let us all be careful. Beware everyone!”

Since the fake accounts were unearthed, #HandsOffOurStudents has been trending on Twitter all morning.

Netizens suggest that it’s not just UP students but anyone who might have publicly published criticism regarding the government, politics, and the like.

To protect yourself from identity theft, you can report fake accounts on Facebook bearing your name, granted that these accounts are suspicious and do not belong to someone who legally shares the same name as you.

This story originally appeared on Reportr.World. Minor edits have been made by Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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