Following the reported incidents of teachers losing their money due to phishing scams, the Department of Education (DepEd) will issue an advisory to its field personnel to protect themselves against various forms of online fraud.
“Ang isang gagawin ng DepEd ay mag-i-issue kami ng advisory para sa aming mga field personnel para magabayan ang aming mga teachers kung ano itong phishing scam at paano ito maiiwasan (DepEd will issue an advisory for our field personnel to guide our teachers on what this phishing scam is and how to prevent it),” DepEd Undersecretary Revsee Escobedo said during the “Laging Handa” public briefing on Friday, Jan. 28.
Early this week, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) alleged that the bank accounts of some public school teachers were “hacked” since they have been losing through unauthorized transactions in their accounts under the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP).
“Noong Jan. 24, naipa-ulat sa amin na meron nga na mga guro na nagkaroon ng problema regarding sa unauthorized withdrawals sa kanilang mga accounts (On Jan. 24, we were informed that there were teachers who were having problems regarding unauthorized withdrawals in their accounts),” Escobedo said.
He said that this was immediately referred to Landbank and an initial investigation was conducted.
On Jan. 25, Escobedo said that Benjo Basas of TDC wrote a letter to DepEd informing the agency that 20 teachers were allegedly victimized by unauthorized withdrawal in their accounts. The reports came from the National Capital Region (NCR) and Regions III, IV-A, V, and VI.
Citing the initial investigation of LBP, Escobedo said that these teachers were victimized by a phishing scam which is a kind of online bank fraud.
“Nangako ang Landbank na sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa DepEd at ito ay kanilang iimbestigahan at ire-resolve ang usapin at magbibigay sila ng ulat sa DepEd (Landbank promised that it will coordinate with DepEd. It will also investigate and resolve the matter and provide a report to DepEd),” Escobedo explained.
Escobedo said that DepEd is coordinating with Landbank to resolve the issue as soon as possible. “Para sa masusing investigation, kami naman ay makiki-pagtulungan (We will cooperate for a thorough investigation),” he added.
DepEd, Escobedo said, will also assist in the investigation and that Landbank will inform the agency on how many complaints it has resolved reported by the 20 teachers coming from the five regions.
Related to this issue, Education Secretary Leonor Briones assured the personnel of the DepEd that the system of Landbank remained intact.
“Gusto ko lang i-emphasize na itong nangyari sa mga teachers sa kanilang bank accounts, klaro na sinabi ng Landbank na hindi naman na-hack ang kanilang records at system (I just want to emphasize that what happened to these teachers in their bank accounts, Landbank clearly said that their records and system were not hacked),” Briones said.
Briones said that this is “important information” because in DepEd alone, there are over a million government workers who use the LBP.