Repa Paluwagan scam: 8 victims lost P2 million to online investment fraud

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | November 05,2021 - 05:06 PM

Victims of the investment scam, specifically the Repa Paluwagan, ask assistance from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) on Friday, November 5, 2021. | Pegeen Maisie Sararana

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Eight individuals lost an estimated P2 million to an online money scam called Repa Paluwagan.

Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7), said the eight individuals trooped to the CIDG-7 office to file a complaint against the suspected administrator of the online scam.

Dalogdog said this suspected administrator was believed to be in Cebu City.

He said that the eight individuals, who put their hard-earned money as investment to the Repa Paluwagan, lost it eventually.

After losing their money, the eight individuals communicated online and decided to visit the CIDG-7 office to file a complaint.

College tuition invested

One of the victims, a mother, who has a child in college, said she used her personal savings intended for the college tuition of her child to invest on the alleged money making scheme.

She said that she found the money-making scheme, which turned out to be a money scam, through Facebook.

“Nagkaila through sa Facebook. Unang post ani niya is lechon package, and then pag ikaduha nakong tan-aw [paluwagan]. Permero nako gi avail kay 17K turns 22K last September,” she said.

(We knew each other through Facebook. The first post of this person was a lechon package, and then the second one was the [paluwagan]. I availed of the 17K to 22K [investment] last September.)

“Nangutana ko niya kung unsay paagi nganong kadako og tubo sa kwarta? Iyang explanation is paluwagan daw ni. Naa kunoy mga member ani nga dili kapaabot sa date or sa petsa sa ilang dawat so mao nang ibaligya nila ilang paluwagan, pa-us-usan og presyo, maong gitawag og repa,” she added.

(I asked the person how was it that there is a big increase in the money? The person’s explanation was it was a paluwagan. There is a member who could not wait for the date to get her return so the member will sell her share of the paluwagan but at a lower price and  it is called repa.)

Repa Paluwagan defined

Dalogdog defined “paluwagan” as an informal lending system that was common among groups of individuals with members, who were listed in the “paluwagan” only verbally agreeing to its process, and that there was no legal contract for it.

He also appealed to the public to not engage in this kind of activity since the Securities and Exchange Commission disclosed that Repa Paluwagan was an unregistered corporation or partnership that had not been authorized to collect an investment from the public.

Meanwhile, the victim said that she checked on the legitimacy of the Facebook entity and the person’s business by looking at the reviews of her activities on the page about the Repa Paluwagan.

She said she was taken in to believe it was a legitimate one because the reviews were mostly positive.

So last September, she invested P17,000  but the P17,000 account was allegedly frozen so she got a refund instead.

She tried another slot to invest a higher one — P45,000 investment with a return of P60,000.

She said that she was given a payback of P60,000 which she all invested again hoping to get bigger returns.

And that was when she was told that the investment had collapsed and she would get nothing in return.

She said the money that she invested reached P121,000.

Dalogdog said the eight victims lost an estimated P2 million to the online scam.

P233M lost to Repa Paluwagan in Bohol

He also said that for this year alone, they had filed 25 formal complaints of estafa against administrators of Repa Paluwagan investment scam in Bohol Province.

He said that the 25 individuals invested P233,038,297 to the Repa investment scam.

Dalogdog said he would be expecting more victims in the coming days since the modus operandi of the investment scam had already been revealed to the public.

“Sa tanan na naging biktima ining investment scam, you can coordinate with us o kahit saang police office para mapadali and mapabilis ang pagfile ng complaints against these individuals, he said.

“To all those victims of the investment scam, you can coordinate with us or with any police office so that they can quickly file their complaints against these individuals.)

Dalogdog also advised the public to not fall or go for easy money because it would usually end up being a scam.

“Dami na nating experience [investment scam]. Tayo gusto natin nga madaliang pera, ayaw natin na magtatrabaho tayo, gusto natin na mabilis tayong umunlad o yumaman. Instead na yayaman, mas lalo tayong madidiin,” Dalogdog added.

(We have several who experienced [investment scam]. We want easy money so we don’t want to work, we want to progress fast and get rich fast. But instead of getting rich we are instead pulled lower and poorer)

READ: CIDG-7 warns public of investment scams during pandemic 

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TAGS: Cebu City, CIDG-7, Investment scam, Repa/Paluwagan, victims

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