The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has issued an advisory to warn the public against “phishing” scams, which are primarily perpetuated through e-mail.
Phishing is a form of identity theft whereby someone steals or uses personal or sensitive information of another person by hacking into one’s personal account, hijacking one’s data and taking over one’s online identity, to commit fraudulent acts or crimes.
Once the scammers have obtained the information, it becomes possible for them to withdraw the money or purchase items under the name of another person, open a new bank or credit card account, use present another’s account to illegally deal with other people, or withdraw checks on a person?s bank account.
Scammers may also install computer viruses or embed them in e-mail and disseminate more phishing e-mails to other people.
Fraudsters also usually send an e-mail with a generic greeting, such as “Dear Customer” or “To Our Valued Client” with an urgent message or content containing a threat such as “Verify your account”, “Update your account”, or “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 the user to input their personal and financial information such as user IDs, passwords and account and personal identification numbers.
Scammers may use official-looking logos and other identifying information from a financial institution or other legitimate organization.
Phishing may be done in various methods other than e-mail such as text messages, chat rooms, electronic fake banner advertisements or message boards, fake mailing lists, fake job search sites and job offers, and fake browser toolbars.
To avoid being victimized by phishing scams, the BSP urged the public not reply to suspicious e-mails, ignore and delete the message, do not click any link in a suspicious message, and not give personal and financial information requested through e-mail.
“Instead, call your bank and send a letter to verify if such e-mail request is real. If you think you have given out information to a phisher, report the incident immediately to the company that was spoofed,” the BSP said. — PIA