Banks are warned against what the central bank referred to as organized crime groups’ (OCG) modus operandi using auto loan products to sell carnapped vehicles to unsuspecting buyers or bank borrowers.
In a memo released over the weekend, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier said all BSP supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) are “cautioned to strictly observe and strengthen” the implementation of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations “particularly on customer identification and verification procedures, ongoing monitoring of customers and their transactions,vsuspicious transaction reporting, and continuing AML training program, including controls relating to partner/accredited car dealers.”
BSP Memorandum No. M-2021-047 advised BSFIs of the public warnings issued by the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) on the modus operandi of OCGs that carnapping syndicates are stealing high-end motor vehicles through auto loans under fictitious identities.
“The mortgaged MVs (motor vehicles) are subsequently sold to the public using fake conduction stickers and plate numbers,” said Fonacier. Falsified documents, such as identification cards and employment certificates, are used to avail of the auto loans.
Other reported typologies of carnapping syndicates include the “rent-tangay” or “rent-sangla” and assume balance schemes, among others, according to the memo.
The rent-tangay scheme is a rental contract but vehicles will not be returned after the lapse of the contract, while the rent-sangla/benta scheme is the pawning or selling of a vehicle. The assume balance/pasalo scheme is the act of selling a vehicle by way of assuming the mortgage loan, using falsified documents.
The BSP also warned banks against the loan accommodator scheme where a carnapper will pose as a legitimate business and a labas casa scheme – “this refers to the act of using so-called ‘artista’ who will acquire an auto loan from a car dealership using spurious documents.”
Banks launches anti-fraud campaign
The Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines (BMAP) has launched the #FightFraudTogether two-month campaign against increased cybercrimes and fraud cases such as phishing, smishing, SMS scam and ransomware.
“By working together, banks can create greater awareness so more Filipinos can learn how to protect themselves,” said BMAP president Mike Villa-Real. He also said the industry “are sending the message that cybercrime and fraud is a serious issue.”
Villa-Real said financial institutions are already investing heavily to strengthen cybersecurity to “prevent and block cybersecurity threats and fraud attempts in the online and digital economy.”
BMAP has always reminded the banking public to stay vigilant, practice due diligence and “to not be complacent when it comes to cybersecurity (since) fighting fraud is a shared responsibility among financial institutions, customers, regulators and industry associations.”
BMAP is reminding the public to be extra aware of fraudsters by following these tips: check the legitimacy of the message or email you receive; protect sensitive information; do not panic, fraudsters use scare tactics to pressure target victims; be cautious and stay alert when making online payments to a bank, biller or merchant; create and use a strong password for all your accounts; and report immediately if your bank account or credit card gets compromised.