Crime Stories

ATM Scam Queen in Iloilo City Tricks Senior Citizen Out of Over 100,000 Pesos

ILOILO CITY – ATM Queen allegedly took more than 100,000 pesos in cash from Marcelas Lourdes Ganzon, 62, a resident of Barangay Calaunan, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, at around 2:30 pm on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at a mall on M.H. Del Pilar, Molo, Iloilo City.

The suspect was identified as Lunalyn De Pedro, 40, a resident of Barangay Gustilo, La Paz. According to Police Captain Benjie Dicen, the Officer-In-Charge of the Molo Police Station, in an interview with Radyo Bistado, on that day, Ganzon went to an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to make a deposit. She was then approached by De Pedro who offered to help with her transaction after noticing that the machine did not issue a receipt.

De Pedro asked Ganzon, “Ma’am, let’s try if a receipt will come out,” and Ganzon handed her ATM card to De Pedro. De Pedro tested the card, but when it did not work, she told Ganzon that her card had been captured by the machine. De Pedro convinced Ganzon to give her the PIN number of her card, and then De Pedro cancelled the card.

According to Dicen, Ganzon later found out that her card was not captured and that De Pedro had taken out 130,000 pesos without her permission. Dicen also stated that De Pedro’s modus operandi is to convince people, especially senior citizens or those with a lot of money in their ATM account, to hand over their cards by telling them that their cards have been captured or by engaging them in a conversation to distract them.

De Pedro has allegedly victimized people in Bacolod City and Roxas City and was previously arrested for two counts of theft on February 3, 2023, but was released on bail. Dicen could not confirm if De Pedro is part of an organized group.

De Pedro is currently at large, and the case has been filed against her under Republic Act 8484 or the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998 and Swindling. Dicen urged the public not to trust strangers who suddenly approach them and offer help, especially during confidential bank transactions. He advised people to seek the help of security guards if they need assistance.

Dicen also requested that if anyone has been victimized by De Pedro, they should report it to the nearest police station.

Aaron Lloyd Refoyo

A true warrior of the night, a beacon of youthful vigor and alacrity in the realm of journalism. As a swift and cunning correspondent of Radyo Bistado, Aaron is driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a boundless passion for the truth. With his keen intellect and a gift for words, he fearlessly ventures into the darkest depths of the news to uncover the most pressing stories of our time. Whether it's a breaking news event or a riveting investigative report, Aaron's unyielding dedication to accuracy and flair will leave you spellbound
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