The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reminds the public to beware of schemes that prey on vulnerable consumers eager to augment incomes, facilitate financial transactions, or make quick investments. The common types of online scams observed during the pandemic include:
Donation or charity scams – fake donation drives taking advantage of the public’s goodwill.
Phishing scams – random emails, calls, text messages or website ads from fake companies or people pretending as personnel of banks, financial institutions, or government agencies, asking for personal information, such as account number, PIN, password, or login credentials.
Spoofed or fake websites – websites that appear to be legitimate, designed to trick users to give personal information and account details.
Imposter scams and fake documents – people pretending to be connected to financial institutions or government agencies, such as the BSP; and presenting fake documents, such as certificates of deposits, gold reserves, money transfers and other commercial papers, in order to trick people to invest, make deposits or pay fees.
Investment scams – people or companies, usually unlicensed or unregistered, offering high-return, low-risk investments (“double your money, get rich quick schemes”).
To combat such scams, the BSP urges the public to practice simple yet crucial steps to ensure the safety and security of their online transactions. These include:
Scrutinize emails, texts and websites – phishing emails and fake websites usually have spelling and grammatical errors. These also use personal email addresses and unofficial website urls.
Background check – verify the identity and legitimacy of individuals or institutions requesting for your personal and account information, donations, investments or fees for unsolicited services.
Use strong passwords – make your account passwords unique, use different passwords for different accounts, and change passwords regularly.
Use multi-factor authentication – enable security questions, mobile pins (MPIN), one-time-pins (OTP), or text and email notifications for all your accounts as added layers of security when logging-in or confirming financial transactions.
Keep personal and account information private – do not share account numbers, log-in credentials, MPIN, OOTP, and CVV codes (number at the back of credit cards). Legitimate financial institutions and their authorized personnel will not ask you for these sensitive information.
Report suspicious communications, personnel or transactions to regulatory authorities – immediately seek assistance from your bank or financial institution. Report to regulatory authorities such as the BSP, when in receipt of suspicious emails, fake websites, imposters, or doubtful documents and transactions.
Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)