‘Shift to on­line bank­ing also led to rise in scams’

BusinessMirror - - Banking & Finance - By Ty­rone Jasper C. Piad @Ty­ronepiad

ON­LINE scam­mers are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the un­prece­dented shift to dig­i­tal, Bank of the Philip­pine Is­lands (BPI) said, not­ing that clients should take safety mea­sures against cy­ber­fraud.

The Ayala-led bank said that dig­i­tal plat­forms help in eas­ing transactio­ns, the pub­lic is also vul­ner­a­ble to phish­ing scams.

“The easy mi­gra­tion of every­day ac­tiv­i­ties on­line, par­tic­u­larly pur­chases and other trans­ac­tional tasks, has been a great help in im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life for so­ci­ety. Un­for­tu­nately, scam­mers also saw an op­por­tu­nity to step up their cy­ber­crime schemes,” said BPI En­ter­prise In­for­ma­tion Se­cu­rity Of­fi­cer and Data Pro­tec­tion Of­fi­cer Jonathan John B. Paz.

Cit­ing a Kasper­sky Lab re­port, BPI said that around 1.5 mil­lion phish­ing sites are cre­ated across the world monthly to hack sen­si­tive data. In ad­di­tion, the study re­vealed that Filipinos were more likely to fall vic­tim to this kind of scams com­pared to its South­east Asian neigh­bors.

BPI said that the usual phish­ing e-mails are re­lated to Covid-19, of­fer­ing cure, pref­er­en­tial pri­or­ity for vac­cines or any news on the mat­ter.

These e-mails are trick­ing the pub­lic into pro­vid­ing per­sonal data such as In­ter­net and e-mail lo­gin cre­den­tials, credit-card de­tails and gov­ern­ment IDS, among oth­ers.

The bank also re­minded its clients of an­other scam—vish­ing or voice call phish­ing. This tries to ac­quire one-time pass­words and even en­able SIM hi­jack­ing, BPI warned.

Apart from ac­ti­vat­ing on­line bank­ing se­cu­rity fea­tures, the bank is also urg­ing its clients to be care­ful when trans­act­ing on­line.

Paz said to avoid over­shar­ing per­sonal data on so­cial me­dia. Re­frain from us­ing un­pro­tected net­works, like free pub­lic Wi-fi, when ac­com­plish­ing im­por­tant transactio­ns, he ex­plained.

The BPI of­fi­cial said that it was also best to use sep­a­rate e-mail ad­dresses for bank­ing, so­cial me­dia, on­line fo­rums and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

Do not open sus­pi­cious file at­tach­ments as well, he added, be­cause they are likely a phish­ing tool.

“We are do­ing our part in el­e­vat­ing our ef­forts to raise aware­ness on so­cial me­dia to reg­u­larly pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about the lat­est scams and modus operandi to pro­tect peo­ple from cy­ber­crime,” Paz.

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