NBI 7: ATM card holders must be alert against phishing, online scams

·3 min read

AS THE holiday season is near and more people are expected to transact online amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 has reminded the public to be extra careful against automated teller machine (ATM) card phishing and other forms of online scam.

NBI 7 Director Rennan Augustus Oliva, a lawyer, urged the public on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, to always make sure that the persons they are transacting with online are legitimate.

In case of doubt, the person can always check with his bank to verify the legitimacy of the transaction.


NBI 7 agent Coco Lastimoso said they are investigating a cybercrime incident that happened last February—close to P900,000 was withdrawn from a woman’s bank account without her authorization.

Lastimoso said the woman possibly fell victim to card phishing or the “salisi” gang. Phishing is fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication, while “salisi” gang members are well-dressed and they steal bags of their targets in public places by distracting them.

The victim went to withdraw cash from one of the ATMs in a mall in Cebu City last February when she noticed that there were suspicious persons near the area where the ATMs are located.

After she finished withdrawing her money, she was approached by two women who told her that she had left a P1,000 bill in the ATM.

She then checked her wallet; she found out that her money was just right inside her bag along with her ATM card.

Five days later, the victim reportedly found out that her ATM card was not hers.

Lastimoso said card-switching has been rampant nowadays.

The victim went to her bank to inquire on her account, and she discovered that she lost close to P900,000.

‘Unhelpful’ bank

The victim reportedly went to her bank to seek help in investigating the incident, and she also tried to argue that the bank should return the money to her because she was a victim.

The bank did not help her, said Lastimoso.

“They did not provide her with anything at all,” she said, further saying that the victim must bear her own loss.

The bank’s move prompted the victim to ask the NBI for help.

Cybercrime cases

Lastimoso said there is a rising case of cybercrime cases amid the pandemic as many people opted to transact online.

The victim’s account was practically phished after transacting with an ATM, said Lastimoso.

The NBI 7 agent said someone used the victim’s contact information to withdraw cash from different ATMs.

The person who got the victim’s ATM card withdrew P100,000 in five days.

A saccamer can get the ATM information and put it in a fake ATM card.

Keep personal info

According to Oliva, ATM card users should not give away their personal information, personal identification number or security codes.

He warned that online criminals now are very imaginative in creating scenarios to lure prospective victims to give their personal information. Some of these situations include messages randomly sent to any person, telling them that they won a prize; however, they have to give their details first before they can claim their non-existent prize. / WBS

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