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Security Bank warns public against three types of online fraud

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Security Bank Corp. said online scams were on the rise amid the shift to digital transactions.

It advised the banking public to be wary of new cyberattacks to prevent being a victim of fraudulent activities that were gaining traction.

Many types of scams have emerged since the pandemic forced the public to stay at home and bank online.  There are three common forms of fraud that thieves commonly use, including phishing, vishing and smishing.

Phishing involves the sending of emails to bank clients by fraudsters who trick them into entering their personal information into misleading websites. These emails are strategically written in a way that causes clients to panic and reveal their banking details. 

Meanwhile, Vishing is a form of phishing that occurs over the phone where a fraudster pretends to be a bank representative and asks questions that lead unsuspecting clients to disclose their sensitive information.

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Smishing is a technique where fraudsters use text messages with instructions that lure vulnerable clients into sending back their personal information.

"Since many individuals work from home, most of them use online or mobile banking. What happens now is fraudsters pretend to be bank representatives to steal personal information, or worse, authorize transactions through OTP sharing, among the few," said Colin Dinn, executive vice president and segment head for enterprise technology and operations at Security Bank. 

Security Bank saw a significant uptick in digital channel usage with month-on-month growth of 59 percent in 2020. Online money transfer transactions saw the biggest usage with the bank posting a 284-percent increase in the usage of its local remittance facility eGiveCash and a 51-percent increase in fund transfer transactions.

To help the public remain vigilant against the threat of various phishing scams, Security Bank shared tips on how to avoid cyberattacks.

“Be skeptical when an unknown caller starts asking for your personal information [e.g. full name, birthdate, SSS number, TIN, bank credentials, etc.],” it said.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions that will give you a hint if the caller and the call itself are legitimate,” the bank said. “Don’t be easily persuaded. Fraudsters are trained to sound very convincing. They might even have researched about you and your personal background.”

Security Bank said to be sure that customers are dealing with authorized representatives, they should contact the bank through the number on the official website and not the number provided by the caller.

“Refrain from posting your contact details and other personal information on social media. If skeptical with OTPs sent [ex. multiple OTPs], do not immediately key-in. Report to your bank before pursuing the transaction,” it said.

Security Bank said it would never ask for One-Time PIN, personal identification number, card verification code and passwords.

"We have ramped up our cyber awareness campaign on all of Security Bank’s social media platforms to consistently remind the public on how to avoid falling into the trap of fraudsters, hackers, and the like," said Dinn. 

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