Scammers impersonate journalists to fake fund a child's heart surgery
A group of criminals use the names of journalists and other social communicators to scam businessmen through an alleged campaign to donate money to fund a child's heart operation.
The criminals prepare letters on behalf of the journalists and attach false documentation about a minor who requires emergency surgery to defraud businessmen and other public figures, who, unaware that it is a scam, have sent donations to open accounts in state and private banks.
The modus operandi of this criminal group is based on the use of a letterhead letter from the Union of Journalists of Panama, the content of which appeals to solidarity to save the child's life, which is sent to its potential victims to support this alleged campaign. The note has the name and forged signature of a radio or television journalist, generally with a long recognized track record. This strategy serves to make people believe that it is an authentic case, but in reality it is part of the farce mounted by the scammers.
On several occasions they have used the names of journalists Rafael Antonio Ruiz, from RPC Radio; Raúl López Aranda, Hugo Famanía, and José Iván Ramos, from Telemetro Reporta, to commit their misdeeds to the detriment of people who in their good faith send their donations without knowing that it is a vile scam.
Entrepreneurs and other public figures are advised to be cautious when they receive a letter on the letterhead of the Journalists Union, requesting a financial donation for the operation of a child, because they may be the subject of a scam.