Banks cannot be compelled to return money lost thru email, mobile phone scams — DOJ

Published November 29, 2021, 4:14 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

DOJ Office of Cybercrime

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday, Nov. 29, said that persons victimized by email and mobile phone scams cannot compel banks to return their lost money.

The DOJ Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OOC) explained that “banks do not give back the money taken/lost because on their system it was a valid transaction”

“Almost always the case is that the client victimized was negligent when he/she gave the One Time Password (OTP) to the fraudster,” it said.

It assured that it will continue to investigate such scams called phishing involving emails, vishing involving phone calls, smishing involving text messages.

It said that the cases involving the scams will be referred to “the NBI Cybercrime Division for further investigation and case building.”

The DOJ-OOC has repeatedly been warning the public against phishing, vishing, and smishing activities.

“Phishing, vishing, and smishing are forms of cybercrime in which the perpetrator posing as a legitimate institution, such as a bank, online payment site, or an online commerce site, devises a message through electronic mail, phone call, or text message, respectively. The objective thereof is to lure individuals into providing sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and usernames and passwords,” it said in a statement issued last year.

It also said:

“In these forms of cybercrime, it is very often that the perpetrators convince and deceive victims that the latter’s immediate action is required. The urgency usually involves a recent system upgrade or a threat of account suspension that requires the victim to click the link provided in the email in order to unlock or reactivate their accounts.

“Clicking the link will redirect the victim to a dummy of the legitimate company’s website, where the victims are asked for their login credentials and potentially credit card information or similar data. Once such sensitive information is obtained from the victim, the perpetrator will access the victim’s account to perform illegal or fraudulent transactions.”