Philippine banks have been ramping up their digitization efforts to serve clients faster and make banking simpler and secure. However, this improvement isn’t without risks. As banks innovate and enhance the security features of products and services, scammers also advance in the technology and methods they employ.
Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank) believes that being aware of the most common scams — how they are done and how to avoid them — can help you to protect yourself from becoming victims.
Through its Be Aware campaign, PSBank shares three common scams you may come across:
Pharming or Phishing is when scammers fraudulently obtain sensitive information from you through the use of fake websites by “poisoning” your browser’s ability to map a website domain to the legitimate banking site. Scammers do this by installing malware on your computer or device (from visiting their malicious websites or downloading their infected files) that redirects your browser traffic to a fake or phishing site of the hacker.
To protect yourself from this type of scam, avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails and always check the URLs (website address) carefully. Legitimate online banking pages that protect your login details start with “https://” — the “s” means the site is secure with SSL or TLS encryption. There are also cases wherein cybercriminals use domains that look the same as the legitimate site by changing letter(s) or placing special characters. For example, a malicious link points to “http://www.psbankon1ine.com.ph” where the letter “l” is replaced by the similar-looking number “1”.
Have you ever received a call asking for sensitive details about your account or asking you to confirm your account information? This is called vishing wherein fraudsters use anonymous mobile or telephone numbers and fabricate “stories” to convince you to provide confidential and financial information.
Avoid becoming a victim of this scam by keeping in mind that banks and government agencies will never ask for your card number, ATM PIN, CVC2/CVV code, username, and/or password over the phone. Call the bank’s official customer service hotline to report suspicious calls and text messages. Also, do not forget to always verify the identity of people claiming to be your relative or friend as well as unanticipated calls or messages from institutions.
ATM Skimming is like identity theft where fraudsters steal the information specifically stored in your ATM card and create a counterfeit copy of your ATM to withdraw your hard-earned money in the bank.
In this type of scam, fraudsters install skimming devices such as a card reader and a tiny camera in the ATM to capture and steal your card data and your PIN code. Portable card-skimming devices the size of a matchbox are also used by fraudsters in restaurants or gas stations to copy your card data and CVC/CVV details.
When using an ATM, always inspect the unit for skimming devices before inserting your ATM card. Always cover your hand when keying in your PIN and do not entertain strangers when doing your ATM transactions.
As an additional layer of security and protection for its clients, PSBank put in place the ATM Lock feature which the clients may activate through either PSBank Mobile or PSBank Online any time. Locked ATM cards may not be used for any ATM, point-of-sale, or online transactions that require the card number. This way, the ATM card becomes useless should it fall into the wrong hands.
Regularly monitor your bank account through the banks’ online and mobile banking facilities. If you notice any unauthorized transactions, immediately report it to your bank customer service hotline or to their nearest branch.
“As security technology improves in banks, fraudsters and hackers will increasingly resort to targeting the customers. But if you practice basic security when conducting online banking or simply know how to keep your personal information private, these simple precautions go a long way into protecting your bank accounts,” said Dan Duplito, first vice president, Information Security and Ciso, PSBank.
PSBank’s Be Aware! campaign aims to provide clients with the necessary education that will protect their hard-earned savings against scams. It is also in support of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ push for Financial Consumer Protection.