DepEd validating report on ‘hacked’ bank accounts of teachers

Published January 24, 2022, 2:45 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday, Jan. 24, said that it is taking steps to validate the report on the alleged hacking of some bank accounts of public school teachers.

(Photo from Unsplash)

This, after the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), said that it has been receiving reports from its members “who lost varying amounts of money” since last week.

Citing reports from its members, TDC claimed that the funds were allegedly transferred from their payroll account to another bank or mobile wallet banking service.

“We are currently validating it now with our field offices,” DepEd Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message.

Sevilla added that “no implementing unit of the Department has reported such occurrence” so far.

In a statement also issued Monday, TDC claimed that Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) accounts of some teachers were “hacked.”

“The amount was stolen from individual teachers so far ranges from P26,000 to P121,000 or from their regular salary and holiday bonuses to lifetime savings,” the TDC said.

TDC Chair Benjo Basas said that they have initially informed some DepEd officials to seek help.

Basas added that they will formally submit the details of teachers who were victimized by this “possible scam.”

The group also called on their colleagues in the public sector to “report the same incidents to authorities” or coordinate with TDC for necessary actions.

Basas said that the affected teachers are “willing to cooperate with the DepEd to resolve this problem.”

Based on the report it has received, TDC cited the case of a teacher from San Bartolome High School in Quezon City.

The said teacher, TDC claimed, used the LBP online banking service in November. A one-time password (OTP) verification was supposedly sent to his mobile phone 13 times which prompted him to report it personally to the LBP branch.

“Unfortunately, when he checked the balance a day after, an amount of P121, 000 was stolen and transferred to a GCash account,” TDC said.

TDC cited that another teacher from Amaya School of Home Industries in Cavite reported the same experience.

Based on the report, a total amount of P84, 815.00 was allegedly stolen from his account in December.

Of this amount, TDC noted that P50,025.00 was allegedly transferred to a GCash account while P34,379.00 was transferred to another bank account.

As a response to the claim of TDC, Sevilla said that DepEd is also validating the said report with LBP.

Sevilla said that while no DepEd implementing unit reported such an incident, DepEd is also “double-checking it with LBP.”

Meanwhile, Sevilla said that DepEd is also tracing the report from TDC. “So far, we have not received anything on this yet,” she added.