Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and Globe Telecom (Globe) inked an agreement that would enable data sharing required for any investigation of online scams.
Under the agreement, Globe will provide UnionBank information about mobile numbers potentially used by fraudsters to help in online banking fraud investigations. This will help Globe detect illicit activity within its network. UnionBank for its part, will likewise trigger and share relevant information necessary to pursue investigations in accordance with the Data Privacy Act and the Data Sharing Agreement.
The alliance aims to expedite online fraud investigations with more people falling prey to scams through phishing activities.
According to Irish Almeida, chief privacy officer of Globe, a subscriber had to go through the tedious process of seeking assistance from the police or court before obtaining the necessary information about a scammer’s account. By the time a request has been granted, the scammers may have disposed of a SIM card, which was usually prepaid.
“Sometimes the subscribers just give up, and they don’t pursue it anymore,” Almeida said. “With the agreement, we are helping our subscribers protect themselves from criminals.”
“This partnership will make that process a lot faster, and is a step forward in working with the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) to ensure a safe and secure digital economy for all,” said Joey Rufo, Chief Information Security Officer, UnionBank. “Also, this partnership is the first of its kind in the Philippines between a telco and a bank, which makes it truly a game-changer.”
Using the data obtained, the two parties can monitor activities such as usage patterns and mobile activities of scammers. Whatever the result of this monitoring system will be forwarded to law enforcement agencies who will then investigate the matters further.
During the pandemic, smishing increased. SMS with malicious links are sent to subscribers promising jobs or prizes for bogus raffles. When victims click on the link, chances are they might be downloading malicious software (malware) that is scraping information from their phones or devices.