MANILA -- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has partnered with GCash to help investigate scams in the country.
The two signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for this partnership in Makati on Thursday.
SEC Chairperson and CEO Emilio Aquino said the agency continues to receive reports and complaints of scams from the public and one common denominator is the use of e-wallet accounts.
That’s why the agency has decided to partner with GCash to help scam victims identify the perpetrators and hopefully recover lost money.
“We can have access. Of course, upon issuance of a subpoena, we will be able to secure certain information to be able to pinpoint those who are using a certain GCash account,” said Aquino.
G-Xchange Inc President and CEO Oscar Reyes Jr. vowed to assist the SEC in the agency’s scam investigations.
“By coordinating with them, working with them, they can help us catch these bad actors," he said.
Although they have been working with SEC before, the MOU will further expand the partnership, Mynt Chief Legal Officer Maricor Alvarez-Adriano said.
Adriano said they aim to help bring justice to scam victims with the information they will share with the SEC as provided by law.
“Kunyari may mga magreklamo sa kanila [SEC] or meron sila findings of mga fraudulent activities, they will reach out to us. They can issue a subpoena and we will provide the information as long as it is within the bounds of the law,” she said.
GCash officials also urge the public to do their share in preventing the spread of scams by being alert when it comes to messages from unknown numbers, or in transacting with suspicious online shops.
They also remind users to immediately report if one has sent money to suspicious accounts.
“As soon as you realize na fraudster yun, mali pala (that something is wrong), let us know. Meron po tayo hotline… If there's a way for us to bar an account, we will do that para yung perang nandoon mahabol natin (so we can get the money in that account)," she said.
"Pero dapat mag-ingat rin tayo doon kasi hindi madali ang proseso na makuha natin agad ang pera na naibigay natin,” said Alvarez-Adriano.
(But we still must be careful, because the process of getting back stolen money is not easy.)
Meanwhile, Aquino said with everyone on social media, it’s easier to also use the platform to scam people.
“They’re leveraging fintech digital technology for purposes of scams. Technology is very much like fire- it can burn your house as it can cook your food," he said.
The SEC reminded the public to avoid dealing with suspicious accounts and organizations, especially when there's an offer of a bigger return on investment.