Viral Post About Fake P15,000 Food Order Shows Pranksters Still At It
Prank orders from delivery food apps are nothing new, but they’re highlighted at a time when many people are just struggling to earn a livelihood. Last April 3, SheMae Ilano posted on Facebook a photo of a Grab delivery rider with several boxes of Angel’s Pizza and said that some 20 food delivery riders went to her neighbor to deliver P15,000 worth of food. A total of 10 boxes of pizzas, boxes of lechon meals and Popeye’s meal packs arrived after a ruthless prankster using her neighbor’s name and address placed the order using different mobile phone numbers.
Thankfully, Ilano and some of her neighbors and relatives bought most of them out of pity to these speechless riders who advanced the payment for the food.
“Grabe naaawa ko kay kuya Rider nanginginig sya sa pang yayari habang inaabot ung boxes of pizzas buti nalang madami pa din bumili kamag-anak namin at mga kapitbahay. Total of 20 riders na naloko ng kung sino ka man sakit sa dibdib. Nakakaawa sila, naiyak na, tulala at nanginginig. Hindi ako makatulog sa pangyayari na ito sana last na sila wala na dumating pa,” she said.
Ilano’s post had over 7,000 shares and over 17,000 angry and sad reactions.
Something similar happened last December, when 16 FoodPanda delivery riders were pranked into delivering food to one address. (link here)
The riders would need to advance the money and risk life and limb to deliver the food orders at the shortest possible time to make a decent living, even during these precarious times.
Host and blogger James Deakin reposted Ilana’s photo and drew some 3,000 comments. “Seriously, who does this? And why? Also, wasn’t something recently passed about fake bookings? Increasing the penalties? At this point, I agree with many of those in comments section who feel Grab and any other delivery company that still allow COD to non-verified accounts with no online payment method, are partly to blame,” Deakin said in his post.
On Sunday, Lester Polillo Macion posted a photo that went viral about another prank call that led the local fire department of San Juan to a wild goose chase sending fire trucks to his neighborhood waking up and scaring everyone in the area. The post has since gotten 45,000 shares and has been picked up by a number of publications. (link here)
Not only that were precious and limited government resources wasted, if there was a real emergency they would not have been able to properly respond to the scene.
Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año has said that that prank calls are punishable under PD 1727 and those found guilty may be punished by imprisonment of not more than five years or a fine of not more than P40,000 at the discretion of the court. Based on the data gathered by the Emergency 911 National Office, from January to June 2019, about 15.29% of the total calls received are either fraudulent, hoax or prank calls.
Año added that they will not hesitate to go after prank and fraudulent callers of the emergency hotline as “such acts that disrupt the delivery of immediate response in times of emergency are punishable under the law." He appealed to the public to dial the Emergency 911 Hotline for legitimate emergency calls only and stop using the hotline for prank and fraudulent calls.
“Pasensyahan po tayo, kapag kayo po ay aming nahuli, kayo po ay mapaparusahan. May mga kababayan po tayong nangangailangan ng tulong na maaaring hindi kaagad marespondehan dahil sa mga prank calls na ito. (If we catch you, you will be punished. Some of our countrymen need actual help and they may not get it in time because of these prank calls),” he said.
Google, which is known for making highly creative and elaborate but totally harmless pranks has stopped this tradition for the second year in a row since the pandemic started, according to a report by Business Insider.