Use credit, debit cards instead of cash, police urge

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday, December 18, that using credit or debit cards instead of cash when shopping will help keep criminals away, particularly during the holiday rush.

“Sa ating pagpapatupad ng batas at pagtigil ng krimen ay malaking bagay na gamitin nalang natin ang ating mga debit or credit cards... Hanggat maaari ay iwasan (ang paggamit ng cash),” PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said.

“Ang paggamit lamang talaga ng cash ay nagkakaroon tayo ng security problem sa tuwing tayo po ay maaaring mabiktima ng pandurukot or salisi so natatangayan tayo ng cash natin samantalang kung ang mawala sa atin ay ‘yung card hindi naman ito magagamit dahil meron itong mga password (pincode) na kinakailangan so sa mga mandurukot wala itong silbi sakanila ‘yung card kasi di naman nila alam ang password nito samantalang kapag hawak nila ang cash ay kaagad na madali nilang magamit at maibili,” he added.

Banac also reminded the public to be wary when withdrawing cash from automated teller machines (ATM) as some criminal elements usually lurk nearby.

On December 5, a man who had just withdrawn from an ATM in Baesa in Quezon City was robbed and shot dead by motorcycle-riding men. The assailants fled with P11,000 cash from the victim.

In a confidential memorandum, the Philippine Air Force also warned its members of phishing and pharming and other modus operandi using the ATM.

It urged its members to press the “cancel” button twice before inserting their cards in ATM machines.

It said that if anyone has set up the keypad to steal the Personal Identification Code, it will cancel that setup.

“Itong mga bagay na ito ay bahagi ng ating mga precautionary measures at reminders sa ating mga mamamayan na magdiriwang ng pasko at bagong taon at dahilan nga ay may mga bonus at marami tayong available na cash ngayon tayo po ay patuloy na nagpapaalala sa lahat na maging alerto at mapagmatyag at magingat sa tuwing tayo ay magwithdraw ng pera sa ating mga ATM,” Banac said.

“Muli tayong nagpapaalala na tignan maigi kung sino ang ating mga kasama sa palibot kapag tayo po ay nagwiwithdraw ng cash, at hanggat maaari ay iwasan po na mag withdraw ng malaking halaga at ang i-withdraw nalang po natin ay ‘yung kakailanganin laman na halaga ng salapi ng sa gayon kung ano man ang insidenteng mangyari kung tayo man ay madukutan or masalisi ay maliit lamang na halaga ang mawala sainyo,” he added.

Banac said the “salisi” modus and snatching remain major problems during the holiday season.

He noted the convenience brought by online shopping but he also warned the public to be careful and cautious in transacting online.

“Yung mga online transaction wala naming direktang epekto sa ating peace and order subalit ito ay nakakapagdulot ng convenience sa mga mamimili subalit kailangan lang na magingat muli dahil maraming pagkakataon na nakakatanggap tayo ng reklamo dahil umano may mga maling deliveries at maaring magamit ang inyong mga account ng ibang criminal elements na nariyan sa internet so yun lamang po kailangan maki-pagtransactions sa lehitimo at ‘yung pagbibigay ng personal information at passwords kailangan ingatan po natin,” said Banac.

He, however, assured that the PNP is ready to respond to any eventualities. The PNP will be on full alert and will be deploying over 60,000 officers during the entire observance of Christmas and New Year. (SunStar Philippines)