SCAMMER. National Bureau of Investigation officials present on Thursday (March 11, 2021) an extortion suspect who fooled victims by saying he was connected with the office of Senator Bong Go. Suspect John Garcia allegedly collected PHP6 million from his victims who were offered various projects. (Photo courtesy of NBI Facebook)

MANILA – Beware of scammers misrepresenting themselves as staff members of politicians for extortion purposes.

On Thursday, the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) Special Operations Group announced the arrest of a man who goes around saying he has connections with Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to extort money from unsuspecting businessmen and other private individuals.

NBI Officer-in-Charge Eric Distor said John Carlos Pedragosa Garcia was nabbed in a resort in Bolinao, Pangasinan, using a car he illegally obtained from one of his victims.

Further investigation showed he has a warrant of arrest issued by the Mandaluyong City courts for two counts of estafa.

Garcia duped victims from Bicol, Laguna, Quezon, and Rizal in shelling out various amounts that ran up to PHP6 million.

A victim in San Pablo City, Laguna was offered participation in the construction of an offshore gaming facility in Barangay Buhatan, Sto. Domingo, Albay.

Garcia told her a secretary of Go, a certain Geraldyne Riano, is his friend.

After giving a PHP1-million advance payment for the project in Albay and another in Malunay, Quezon, the promised meeting with Go never materialized.

The victim later confirmed from the senator’s office that Riano is not an employee and it has not made dealings with Garcia.

The car Garcia was using at the time of his arrest was bought for PHP250,000 as initial payment.

The cheque was not honored by the bank. (PNA)