Friday, April 19, 2024

Poe pushes law against online financial scams

Sen. Grace Poe on Thustressed the need to put in place tighter measures to curb financial fraud and protect the Filipinos hard-earned money as more shift to online banking and digital payments.

“They say that there are only two certain things in life: death and taxes. Ngayon, mukhang kinakailangan na nito ng amendment: death, taxes, and scams,” Poe said.

“These fraudulent schemes and rackets have become the bane of our financial consumers,” she added.

As one of the sponsors of Senate Bill No. 2560 or the Anti-Financial Account Scamming Act, which she filed as early as 2021, Poe said the measure was “borne of necessity.”

The pandemic pushed the people to rely on online financial transactions heavily. However, she rued the spike in digital transactions came with a spike in fraud as well.

Last week, Poe said news reports revealed at least 120 e-wallet account holders losing money from a phishing scam as reported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Years ago, she said some teachers were scammed into giving away their financial details, eventually losing as much as P26,000 to P121,000 from their bank accounts.

“These stories and other countless reports of scams, shams, and other deceits only cement our status as a scamming hotbed in Asia,” Poe said.

In 2022, the lawmaker said the Philippines ranked 5th among Southeast Asian countries in terms of phishing attacks and incidents.

In the same year, the country lost a staggering P623 million to fraud; P623 million to phishing; and P409 million to identity theft.

Mas lalala pa ito as cybersecurity experts believe that these incidents will only get worse in 2024 and beyond,” Poe said.

Poe earlier worked for the passage of Republic Act (RA) 11934 or the SIM Registration Act to bolster security in digital transactions.

Ngayon naman, hihigpitan natin ang seguridad ng ating mga financial accounts tulad ng GCash, Maya, online banks, pati mga e-wallets ng mga pinakagamit na apps tulad ng Shopee, Lazada at Grab.

“While financial education and literacy is still key in preventing these schemes, kinakailangan natin ng mas kongkretong aksyon para habulin at parusahan itong mga manloloko at masasamang loob,” Poe said.

“These schemes chip away the trust in our financial system — threatening to undo years of progress in financial inclusion and digital innovation,” Poe added.

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