MANILA: The central bank of the Philippines said on Sunday it was looking into a wave of complaints emerging on social media over the hacking of local bank accounts.
Customers of the country’s largest lender, BDO Unibank, have for the past few days been reporting unauthorized transactions to the Union Bank of the Philippines and abroad, as well as accounts being blocked.
Central bank governor Benjamin Diokno said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was working with the banks to address the issue and take remedial steps.
“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has been monitoring the surge in complaints posted in social media platforms since the early part of this week,” Diokno said in a statement.
“We are in close coordination with Banco De Oro (BDO) as well as Union Bank of the Philippines on this incident to ensure that remedial measures are being undertaken, including reimbursement of affected consumers.”
BDO said it was aware of a “sophisticated fraud technique” that has affected some of its clients.
“We assure you that we have already implemented additional security controls to block further attempts and continue to protect bank credentials,” the bank said.
The lenders have not yet estimated how much money was taken, but hundreds of users of a Facebook group created on Saturday to collect complaints over the illegal transactions have each been reporting losing thousands of pesos.
Bankers Association of the Philippines President Jose Arnulfo Veloso urged the public to be more vigilant in light of the rising number of financial cybercrime incidents in the country.
“If you do not give your personal information to others, cybercriminals will never be able to steal your money,” he said. “It is not enough to just know how to avoid cybercriminals. You are our ally when it comes to stopping them from harming other people.”