BACOLOD City councilor Renecito Novero, chairman of the City Council Committee on Trade, Commerce and Industry, is studying the possibility of filing a resolution urging the banks to devise ways on how to protect their clients against phishing and other similar scams.

Novero, a lawyer by profession, said that he has a client who received demands from a bank to pay for some purchases that the account holder did not make through credit cards.

He said the banks should scrutinize transactions like this and ask the owner of the account before approving.

"It is the responsibility of the banks to protect the interests of their clients," the councilor added.

The Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) had defined phishing as a form of identity theft, whereby someone steals or uses personal or sensitive information of another person without his or her knowledge or permission, through hacking into one's personal account, hijacking one's data and taking over one's online identity, to commit fraudulent acts or crimes, or conduct unauthorized business.

The BSP said that once the scammers have your information, it becomes possible for them to withdraw money or purchase items under your name, open a new bank or credit card account, use your present account to illegally deal with other people, or encash checks on your behalf.

Fraudsters usually send an email asking the client to verify or update his or her account to phish information.

Novero warned that if emails like this are received, they should check with the bank for its legitimacy.