OVP latest victim of prank order through grocery delivery service

November 22, 2021 - 5:19 PM
This composite shows September 2021 photo of Vice President Leni Robredo and the screenshot of prank order. (VP Leni Robredo/Facebook and Screengrab from Twitter/barrygutierrez3)

(Updated; Nov. 23, 10:26 a.m.) The prank order modus continues to victimize Filipinos.

Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of the vice president, on Monday shared that someone pretended to be Vice President Leni Robredo on an online grocery and store delivery service, MetroMart, and made multiple orders amounting to over P100,000.

The individual added the pin location of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in the order and tagged the payment method as a “cash on delivery” (COD).

Gutierrez attached screenshot of one of the orders which totaled to P16,040.

“May nagpanggap na si VP Leni at nag-multiple orders ng abot P100K+ sa Metromart. Pinadeliver sa OVP na COD. Hindi na inisip ang mga delivery rider na hinassle at inaksaya ang oras,” Gutierrez said on Twitter.

“Ganito na ba talaga sila katakot sa atin? Dedma sa ganitong kacheapan. Laban lang!” her spokesperson added.

The incident alarmed some members of the online community who hoped that whoever is responsible for the fake order should be held accountable.

“Sana kasuhan ng @MetroMartPH kapag na-trace nila,” a Twitter user said in response to Gutierrez’s post.

“The Congress should really look into this. Dati na nangyayari ‘yan, and whatever concerned gov’t agencies are not even acting on complaints,” another online user claimed.

“Ang kapal! As a MetroMart user, dapat may mobile number na naka-register before [you] can use the app. Sana ma-trace at magawan ng legal action,” wrote a different Filipino.

Meanwhile, the grocery delivery service appealed for the public to refrain from scamming their fellow Filipinos following the incident.

“MetroMart has a return policy arrangement with our Merchants that protects our frontline delivery riders and personal shoppers from fraudulent orders. All items have been returned to our partner supermarkets and stores without charging the riders,” it said on a statement on Monday.

“To help prevent similar situations in the future, we have increased our security and fraud detection measures against scammers. We are also cooperating with the Office of the Vice President in their investigation,” the delivery service added.

“We are calling on the public not to scam, prank and waste the time of our delivery riders and shoppers who are working hard to support their families and are risking their lives to safely deliver groceries to Filipino homes during this pandemic,” it further said.

Robredo acknowledged MetroMart’s initiative and hoped that people wouldn’t think of such schemes especially at challenging times like a pandemic.

“Hindi iniisip na kinakawawa nila ‘yung riders saka ‘yung mga shoppers nila na nabiktima. Umuulan pa naman kahapon and nabasa sila,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

“Sana lang sa panahon ng matinding kagipitan, huwag ng mag isip ng mga panloloko at ‘yung mga maliliit na naman ‘yung mga nabibiktima,” Robredo added.

Several reports of prank or fake orders have been surfacing since last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic further popularized online shopping and food and grocery delivery services.

Riders of food delivery apps reported receiving several orders through a cash-on-delivery method which turned out to be bogus. They complained that some customers would pin the wrong location while other buyers would be a no-show after ordering.

ALSO READ: Food delivery rider a victim of prank order of milk teas from Malabon

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, more commonly known as Moreno, was among those who were similarly victimized by the prank last July.

Several orders from a food delivery app amounting to P5,000 were delivered to his office by users who were determined to have international mobile numbers.

Lawmakers have filed a bill that aims to penalize bogus food and grocery orders through House Bill 7805 or the Internet Transactions Act to protect riders from such instances.