MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reminded the public of the rampant presence of online thieves, targeting personal e-mails to obtain confidential personal and financial information of a user and later on withdraw money, encash checks and make purchases using the stolen identity.
“Phishing is a form of identity theft whereby someone steals or uses personal or sensitive information of another person without his/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/crimes, or conduct unauthorized business,” BSP said.
BSP warned the public that greetings such as “Dear Customer” or “To Our Valued Client” and organization logos which were authentic-looking were commonly used by e-mail scammers as their hook to victimize.
They will then ask the customer or client to accomplish an ‘urgent’ task and threaten that ‘failure to do so will result in account suspension.’
“The message is usually accompanied by a link that, when clicked, leads to a spoofed or fake website which asks you to input your personal and financial information such as User IDs, passwords and account and personal identification numbers,” BSP said.
“To avoid being victimized by Phishing scams, do not reply to suspicious e-mails. Ignore and delete the message. Do not click any link in a suspicious message. Do not give personal and financial information requested through e-mail,” BSP added.
Aside from fraudulent e-mails, BSP stated that phishing was also possible with text messaging, fake mailing list, fake online banner advertisements and fake job search sites and job offers, among others.
The public should ignore these suspicious messages but should they be victimized, they should immediately report the incident to respective banks or other companies spoofed to prevent the scammers from using their stolen identity.