Reading Time: < 1 minutes

After numerous complaints about the hacking of local bank accounts flooded social media, The central bank of the Philippines announced on Sunday that it’s looking into it.

BDO Unibank’s customers have reported blocked accounts and multiple unauthorized transactions to the Union Bank of the Philippines and abroad.

Accordingly to Central bank governor Benjamin Diokno, “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was working closely with the banks to address the issue and take remedial steps.”

He further said:

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has been monitoring the surge in complaints posted on social media platforms since the early part of this week. 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.

Banco De Oro President Nestor Tan confirmed the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the incident “affects a 10-year old web service that is for phase out” and that a substitute should be functional early next year.

Union Bank President Edwin Bautista said:

UnionBank froze several accounts that received money from BDO accounts. We will not hesitate to take legal action against individuals who use their accounts to facilitate criminal activities.

According to Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) president Jose Arnulfo A. Veloso, clients associated with the banking industry should stay vigilant amid an overgrown number of cybercrimes in the banking sector.

He further added:

You will never be a victim of cybercrime if you would never give your personal information, such as a One-Time Password (OTP), to other people. If you do not give your personal information to others, cybercriminals will never be able to steal your money.

The BSP took notice of the complaints that flooded the social media about incidents where funds were transferred without the consent of the owner or depositors.

According to the reports on social media, the amounts transferred from BDO to one or several UBP accounts were between the ranges of P25,000 to P50,000.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier confirmed that they published the memo to remind banks to initiate cybersecurity awareness among the customers regarding such threats. There has also been a rise in ATM Skimming frauds, urging users to follow the best practices to ensure safe access to online banking.