With the increased online transactions by the banking public due to the pandemic, the banking experience has also been riddled by phishing and scam attempts.

Because of this, the Cebu Bankers Club (CBC) reminded its depositors and clients anew to be vigilant.

“Our member banks have been reiterating reminders on phishing to all our depositors and urging them to be vigilant against these activities, especially that more are relying on online transactions due to the coronavirus scare,” CBC president Romeo Comabig told SunStar Cebu.

Phishing involves the sending of malicious email posing as the official company in an attempt to acquire an individual’s personal information like passwords and credit cards’ PIN numbers.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) noted that phishing may be done using methods other than email. Mobile phone text messages, chat rooms, fake banner ads, message boards and mailing lists, fake job search sites and job offers and fake browser toolbars may also be used to get information.

The BSP has urged its supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) to revisit recommended measures against phishing attacks.

“ln view thereof, BSFIs are enjoined to revisit the recommended controls and measures in previous BSP memoranda on guidance on the management of risks associated with fraudulent e-mails or websites, SMS-based attacks targeting customers of financial institutions and other similar BSP issuances,” BSP Deputy Gov. Chuchi Fonacier said in a Dec. 12, 2020 memorandum.

She also encouraged banks to intensify their awareness and education campaigns as a first line of defense against phishing and social engineering attacks.

Comabig said depositors should not click on links they feel are suspicious since banks don’t request for sensitive information through email.

He said banks have invested heavily in their respective cybersecurity departments and worked closely with the PhilippineNational Police’s cybersecurity group.

To avoid falling victim to phishing scams, the CBC advised its clients to ignore suspicious emails, calls or text messages, including clicking on links.

When accessing online transactions, clients should manually type the bank’s name in the URL and not rely on links. The bankers’ group also urged clients to contact directly their respective banks to confirm the message received.

Warning

Metrobank has reminded the banking public anew to be aware of scammers posing as Metrobank employees as phishing and scams have once again proliferated.

The bank said fraudsters call and disguise themselves as Metrobank representatives.

“They will ask you for your personal or financial information. The call will have a sense of urgency or threat, to fix an ‘issue with your account’ just so they can get the information they need to steal your money,” the bank said in its official Facebook page. (JOB)