MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – BDO reminded clients not to give their bank account details or any sensitive information to others, as scammers are now taking advantage of the Luzon lockdown and attempting to access accounts.
In a statement on Monday, March 23, BDO warned that scammers are posing as bank personnel and pretending to offer a “loan payment extension” amid the lockdown, which was triggered by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“The intention here is to get the account details and OTP (one-time PIN) of the customers so fraudsters can take over the account,” BDO said.
Philippine banks earlier announced they were extending deadlines for loan and credit card payments as millions of Luzon residents are mandated to stay at home.
BDO gave the following reminders to avoid being victimized:
- Do not share personal information such as bank account numbers, usernames, passwords, birthday, mother’s maiden name, and even the street where one grew up in.
- Do not click on website links given through emails, text messages, or messages via social media. These links often lead to fake sites mimicking a company’s official site, with the intention of stealing personal information.
- Do not share OTPs. “For banks, OTPs serve as an account holder’s sign-off to proceed with a transaction, like paying for utility bills.” BDO said real bank officers will never ask clients for their OTPs.
In an advisory, the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) also warned clients about emails asking them to click on a link supposedly to prevent account deactivation during the pandemic.
“These emails are forms of phishing wherein personal and sensitive information will be asked in order to gain control of your accounts. Banks will never request for your sensitive information,” BAP said.
BAP advised consumers to report any suspicious emails, calls, or text messages to their respective banks immediately.
Consumers, added BAP, should use only the official apps of their banks and verify these through their banks’ official pages or websites. – Rappler.com