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Bank customers warned vs false schemes amid extended payment due dates

/ 08:10 PM March 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Bank customers have been warned against fraudulent schemes that lures them into giving out their account details and one-time password (OTP) through electronic mails and text messages.

BDO Unibank said in an official announcement on Monday that scammers, posing as official bank personnel, have resorted to contacting bank customers and offering loan extensions while obtaining confidential data.

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This has occured as banks extended the payment due dates of their customers since the government imposed an enhanced community quarantine all over Luzon due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The enhanced community quarantine bars the majority of the population in the region from leaving their houses.

“With the recent move by some Philippine banks to extend the payment dues of loans and credit cards by 30 to 60 days, scammers are using the familiar ploy of sending out emails or calling customers and posing as a “legit” bank personnel offering a loan payment extension,” the bank said in a statement.

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“The intention here is to get the account details and OTP (one-time password) of the customers so fraudsters can take over the account,” it added.

According to BDO, scammers try to obtain the OTP and other data from their victims by asking for their personal information, in exchange for processing the loan extensions — which is why the bank has reminded customers not to share such vital info.

“Companies send out OTPs via SMS messages as an added layer of protection. For banks, OTPs serve as an account holder’s sign off to proceed with a transaction, like paying for utility bills,” BDO explained.

“The bank warns clients about scammers pretending to be from BDO. They may offer a 60-day loan payment extension and ask for account details including OTPs, so they can proceed with transferring money to their account,” it noted.

Also, BDO advised its consumers not to click on dubious online sites to avoid hackers from stealing information.

“Fraud attacks can also come in the form of emails, SMS messages, phone calls, or messages via social media channels. Scammers introduce themselves as officials of a trusted company,” BDO reminded its customers.

“Their messages look and sound very convincing and sophisticated. Gone are the days of imperfect grammar and distorted logos. They even include a website link. Hovering on these website links however will ­reveal a fake website’s address on the preview,” the bank added.

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COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic since it has already infected more than 341,330 people worldwide and killed more than 14,745.

KGA

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, Bank loans, banks, BDO, BDO Unibank, bill payments, COVID-19, enhanced community quarantine, fraud, fraudulent scheme, hackers, lockdown, Luzon, National Capital Region, nCoV update, Philippine news updates
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