Woman scams 50 people in guerrilla scheme

AN ONLINE investment scammer allegedly involved in stealing P673,000 from multiple victims was finally arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation-Cebu District Office (NBI-Cebdo) after she was caught red-handed accepting marked money last Wednesday.

A resident of Barangay Babag in Lapu-Lapu City, Suncy Maghilum allegedly fashioned different names such as “Margarette Trixy,” “Ashley Margarette” and “Gritt Trixx” or “Suncy” Maghilum, to scam people online.

Special Agent Arnel Pura, the NBI-Cebdo Mandaue agent-in-charge, said on Monday, June 26, 2023, that Maghilum is using a “guerrilla scheme,” a new tactic online wherein marketers transact with their clients on a one-time basis.

“The subject solicits investment using the internet. To avoid possible arrest once the complainant realizes he/she has been scammed, the subject resorts to guerrilla tactics. The subject contacts the victim online. Then they meet outside at an agreed time and place. When the victim gives the money, the subject cuts all communication after,” Pura explained in Cebuano.

Pura said Maghilum was reportedly promising investment with a 40 percent return within 28 days, financing weekly return of investment for 15 percent, paluwagan (Philippine informal group saving or money-lending system), and sinking fund.

Her activities were brought to light when one of her victims sought the NBI-Cebdo’s help after Maghilum failed to deliver her promised return within their agreed period.

This led the NBI to conduct a buy-bust operation, catching Maghilum red-handed accepting P30,000 worth of marked money, which was supposed to be an investment that had a weekly interest of P6,000.

On Monday, three more of the 50 reported victims of Maghilum filed complaints at the NBI-Cebdo, hoping for the suspect to return the money they invested.

Je (not her real name) said she repeatedly asked Maghilum for an update on when she would pay her back.

Je said Maghilum promised to pay because one of those who loaned from her would pay by May, but the suspect never gave Je the money back.

Pooling money from others, Je invested an estimated P600,000 and had a return on investment of only P20,000 on March 2023.

Another victim, Ri (not her real name), said Maghilum failed to update her about her investment since January 2023, and she lost P40,000 to the suspect.


Maghilum, for her part, claimed bankruptcy in January 2023 and said she is not capable of paying her investors back.

She added that she was finding ways to provide the payments, which is why she stopped giving her investors partial payments.

Pura said Maghilum was charged by the City Prosecutor of Mandaue City for violation of the Securities and Regulation Code (SRC), the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and for estafa.

Maghilum is currently in the custody of the NBI Office.