BPI clients warned vs ATM scam

From a report by Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2014 08:48 PM | Updated as of Aug 06 2014 01:19 AM

MANILA – Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) customers are being warned over a scam involving illegal withdrawals from the bank's automated teller machines (ATM) in Sucat, Paranaque.

One bank depositor, “Robert” (not his real name), said P80,000 were withdrawn from his account in separate transactions on July 27 and July 28.

“It’s impossible for me to withdraw P80,000 over the weekend because my ATM was with me,” he said.

Bank data showed that four withdrawals were made from his account each amounting P10,015 in an RCBC ATM branch and Metrobank ATM branch in Super 8 grocery in Sta. Rosa, Laguna on July 27.

Two more withdrawals of P20,000 each were made from Metrobank ATM Super 8 grocery in Sta. Rosa and in BPI Imus, Cavite at around 12:35 a.m. early Monday.

“Ang ginawa ng perpetrator, hinintay niya mag-umaga ng mga 12:30 para next banking day na agad,” said Robert.

Another victim, “Myra” (not her real name), said she lost P100,000 from her bank account on August 2.

“At first I thought nalilito lang ako sa computation ko,” she said.

Six withdrawals were also made from her account in ATMs in Quezon City and Subic, Zambales.

“Kaya ka nga nagde-deposit ‘di ba, kaya nga ‘di mo nilalagay ang money mo sa house o sa closet is precisely secure ‘yung money mo tapos ganun ang mangyayari,” she said.

Other victims surfaced after Robert shared his experience, most of whom were depositors of BPI ATM branches in BF Homes Aguirre and President’s Avenue.

“I had about six to seven people who shared the same thing,” said Robert.

BPI has returned Robert’s money while also vowing to return the full amount to Myra.

“BPI immediately investigated the matter after receiving the reports. The account of the affected client has been fully rectified and the amount reimbursed upon confirmation of the incident,” the bank said in a statement.

BPI admitted that it has received reports regarding “abnormal transactions on a specific BPI ATM.” The bank urged its clients to report any suspicious incidents.

“BPI remains committed to the security of the accounts entrusted to us, and we would like to assure the public that our ATMs are equipped with security systems which we constantly upgrade with the latest available technological enhancements. Nevertheless, we know that there will always be attempts to break through these systems, and that phishing, skimming and similar criminal acts have become an industry-wide concern. We urge the public to be very vigilant and immediately report such incidents to us,” it said.