MANILA – A group advocating the fight against misinformation and fraud warned the public to keep their guard up these days amid a new wave of fraudsters victimizing hapless, unsuspecting bank clients hundreds of thousands of their hard-earned money.
Several bank account holders have recently filed complaints before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) after allegedly losing hundreds of thousands of hard-earned money to phishing and vhishing, which is a new modus of fraud using voice.
“We would like to warn our Kababayans to be always on the lookout to never give personal details unless they are dealing or talking directly with bank tellers or manager,” Aio Bautista, lead convenor of Philippine Transport and Communications (PhilTraComm) said yesterday.
Last Thursday, a victim reported on national television she had been defrauded of almost P1 million by scammers who pretended to be from her bank.
She also blamed her bank for doing nothing to her rescue by at least freezing her account after she allegedly alerting them that a scam might be in progress involving her own account.
Another victim of online fraud narrated that she was supposed to receive an electronic GC (gift check) after purchasing and using her credit card in some stalls and of course, asking her first the details of her credit card and eventually accessed her own savings account.
She immediately went to the bank to report the incident but her bank accordingly told her that they “have a process, we need to dispute.”
“It hurts so much, what I lost, half a million, I saved for a long time. It’s for my children,” the second victim narrated.
A third victim, former EB Babe member and now a business owner Anne Maxwell said she allegedly received a notification that someone tried to withdraw P35,000 from her bank account but before she tried to login to her account to check her account balance, she said she received a message anew that P500,000 was withdrawn from her bank account.
“Authorities must also check the possibility of an inside job angle on these new wave of fraud because I think Ms. Maxwell may have a point when she said that there is a possibility the scammers may have an accomplice from inside the bank,” Baustista said.
“Investigation of concerned agencies must also involve the banking system and if proven they have lapses on securing the welfare of their clients, the payment of the defrauded amount must be made immediately to the victims.”
A retired 80-year-old professor Nancy Rotor-Peralta, 80, also claimed she lost money.
“Dapat protektahan nila ang interes ng mga nagbabangko lalo na ang matatandang kapares ko na walang kaalam-alam sa online banking na yan,” Rotor-Peralta said.
“And it’s good to note at this point, the NBI already promised to help the victims,” Bautista added.
“We will dig deeper doon sa kanilang system structure. Bakit may compromise assuming may compromise, at sino ang may access sa system na ito? We will issue corresponding subpoenas,” NBI Cybercrime Division chief Jeremy Lotoc said in an interview.