Banks warn public against surge in online fraud

The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) has issued a public warning against the rising incidence of cybercrimes and online fraud in the country, especially phishing which are deceptive emails to trick bank clients into divulging passwords or account numbers.


The public advisory was a stronger call for financial customers to keep vigilance and to be more alert against online fraud.

“Cybercriminals are creating more methods to defraud the public (and) we would like to remind the customers that banks regularly communicate the best practices that the public can utilize to ensure their cybersafety. We call on everyone to be aware of these reminders and apply them so that cybercriminals will fail in their attacks,” said the BAP.

The BAP also said banks are investing heavily to protect the personal data of their customers and are assuring its clients that they are implementing “rigorous protocols” in investigating cybercrimes to apprehend and penalize cyber criminals.

“Ensuring everyone’s security in cyberspace must be a joint effort between banks and their clients,” the group said

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has processed 12,000 consumer complaints via regular channels and the chatbot BOB or BSP Online Buddy in the first half of the year.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said that of the 12,000 complaints, only three percent or 358 concerns were related to debt collection, debt restructuring of loans or credit card accounts. Around 31 percent were resolved in favor of the consumer.

Both the BSP and BAP have always warned the public against phishing, a cybercrime where fraudsters duped customers of banks via emails, phones or texts to hack their security information.

As safety measures, banks have incorporated two-factor authentication among other safety measures on all bank account-related transactions online.

As added protection against cybersecurity threats, the BAP has previously issued the following advisories: ignore any suspicious emails, calls or text messages, and report it to your respective banks immediately; don’t open or click any links; for concerns about the authenticity of the email/call/text message, contact your bank immediately and provide all necessary details; use only the official apps of your banks; banks will never request for personal information, account number or any one time passwords/OTPs; and avoid using a shared network or a shared computer since these may be traced back or attract nearby hackers.