Gatchalian to banks: Ensure credit card fraud victims not harassed to pay ‘debt’ | Inquirer News
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Gatchalian to banks: Ensure credit card fraud victims not harassed to pay ‘debt’

/ 06:36 PM January 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —  Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday prodded banks to ensure that credit card fraud victims are not subjected to harassment and unethical debt collecting practices.

Gatchalian issued the call after he received complaints from some netizens claiming to be victims of “cyber thieves” about the mounting finance charges they are now facing after unauthorized transactions were charged to their credit card accounts.

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“It’s already unfair to prevail upon the victim and make him or her assume the financial liability that he or she did not make, much more subject them to abusive debt collection practices,” the senator said in a statement.

“Sakaling ipasa na ng bangko sa collecting agency ang isang account, nananawagan ako sa mga bangko na bantayan nang maigi ang proseso at siguruhing hindi naha-harass ang mga account holders para lang mapuwersa silang magbayad ng halagang hindi naman nila napakinabangan,” he added.

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(In the event that the bank submits an account to the collecting agency, I call on the banks to closely monitor the process and ensure that account holders are not harassed just to force them to pay an amount that they did not benefit from.)

Gatchalian, who is also vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, pointed to a bill he earlier filed which aims to shield such account holders from being subjected to unethical practices of debt collectors.

Senate Bill No. 1366 or the proposed Fair Debt Collection Practices Act includes provisions prohibiting the collection of debt on the person concerned when the debt is under dispute.

Further, the bill includes the prohibition of the imposition of any fees to the debtor beyond what is due to the creditor. The measure also prohibits the creditor from refusing to provide sufficient information to the debtor when the latter would request the details of the debt.

“Mabigat na pasanin na nga ang mga lumolobong bayarin o pagkakautang lalo na kung hindi mo naman kagagawan ito. Mistulang ginigisa sila sa sariling mantika,” Gatchalian went on.

(It is a heavy burden to pay the rising bills or debts especially if it wasn’t their doing. It’s like they’re being sauteed in their own oil.)

The senator himself was a victim of credit card fraud when an unknown user hacked his credit card and ordered P1 million worth of food earlier this month.

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Gatchalian said the hacker managed to change his registered phone number, giving the hacker access to the one-time passwords (OTPs) for the transactions. Zac Sarao, Trainee

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TAGS: banks, Credit card, credit card hacking, debts, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, fraud, Legislation, Nation, News, Senate Bill No 1366, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
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