BDO warns vs ‘money mule’ recruiters exploiting COVID-19 crisis


Posted at May 28 2020 12:50 AM | Updated as of May 28 2020 09:25 AM

Banco De Oro. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - BDO Unibank on Wednesday warned the public against a new scheme used to launder ill-gotten gains by offering money to people who would lend their bank accounts.

Fraudsters are recruiting “money mules” that will allow them to move illegally-acquired money posing as legitimate transactions such as COVID-19 donations, the Philippines' largest lender said.

“Do not let other people use your bank account, debit card or credit card to make transactions on their behalf. Never provide your personal and account details to anyone,” BDO said in a statement.

Money mules can be prosecuted under Republic Act 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, with up to a 7-year jail term and penalty of up to P3 million.

The bank reminded clients to ignore suspicious calls, emails, private messages and website links offering easy cash through the use of their own bank account.

“To all bank customers, your login details and One-Time PIN (OTP) are yours and yours alone. Nobody should own them but you. Once you logged in your username and password, you will receive an OTP from your bank as its final security measure. Do not share this OTP to anyone else, especially to the scammers through their fake websites, or those posing as bank employees,” it said.

BDO also warned against phishing attacks in which some emails ask customers to click on links.

“Here’s a useful tip, to check the veracity of the email, let your cursor linger on the web link without clicking on it. A preview will reveal that it leads to a different site and not to the official website of your bank,” it added.