MANILA - Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies chair Grace Poe on Tuesday urged the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to help fraud victims get their money back as reports of online theft continue to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Victims of fraud have created groups on social media to rant about their losses, with one group saying 150 people had collectively lost P7.5 million, Poe said in a statement.
"Some of the money stolen go to accounts that victims have identified. Banks are expected to timely and effectively act," she said.
"Certainly, the BSP must leave no stone unturned in safeguarding the welfare of our consumers... People have lost their jobs. They shouldn't unduly lose their savings, too," she said.
While the BSP has a "chatbot where victims can raise their complaints is a good start," there is a need to set up a system that would help people "get their hard-earned money back," the senator said.
Since last year, several banks have been warning their depositors about phishing and other schemes that exploit the shift of more Filipinos to online banking during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sought for a higher budget for the National Bureau of Investigation's anti-cybercrime operations, saying the government needs to boost its fight against online schemes.
NBI has yet to compile the final tally of cybercrimes involving donation scams and phishing, NBI cybercrime division chief Victor Lorenzo said in an earlier interview.