MANILA (UPDATE 2) - BDO Unibank said Tuesday it is processing the reimbursements of close to 700 clients affected by a string of unauthorized withdrawals in a cybercrime incident over the weekend.
The deposits compromised in the hacking incident however are not covered by deposit insurance, the state-run deposit insurer said.
Many BDO customers complained over social media that funds were withdrawn from their accounts without their knowledge.
Initial investigation showed that the funds were transferred to Unionbank accounts, which were then used to buy cryptocurrencies. Both BDO and UnionBank said they were investigating the matter.
"BDO Unibank has been processing the reimbursement of close to 700 clients affected by the recent online fraudulent transactions," the bank said in a statement.
“We have requested our clients to go to their branch of account and submit documentation to get the refund. The Bank will shoulder the losses perpetrated by this cybercrime incident,” BDO said.
The bank, however, did not disclose the total amount involved in the heist.
HACKED DEPOSITS NOT COVERED: PDIC
The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation meanwhile clarified that the deposits that were compromised in the BDO hacking incident are not covered by its mandate.
“The PDIC also clarifies that the deposit insurance coverage of up to P500,000 per depositor per bank only covers the risk of bank closures as ordered by the Monetary Board of the BSP. Given that, payment of deposit insurance is not applicable in this case,” PDIC said.
The agency however it fully supports the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), that has jurisdiction over operating banks, in closely coordinating with the concerned banks to ensure that remedial measures are being undertaken, including the reimbursement of affected consumers.
The BSP said it has formed an inter-agency task force to trace the origin of cybercrime.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno earlier said the goal is to prosecute the criminals "to the full extent allowed by law."
BDO said it has been working closely with the authorities and the BSP "to prevent further occurrence."
LIMIT 'TRUST' WHEN USING SOCIAL MEDIA
The anti-crime operatives of the Philippine National Police, meanwhile, reminded the public to be careful when using social media as the number of cybercrimes increases.
"Trust no online friends unless you know them personally," the PNP said in a statement.
To avoid falling prey, the public is reminded to observe the following:
- Do not respond to dubious emails with embedded links.
- Double-check with companies to authenticate communication materials
- Refrain from giving away vital information such as bank details as well as passwords
- Limit the use of contact numbers online
- Avoid unsecured hotspots
- Disable Bluetooth when not in use
“The best way to avoid a cyber attack is to be more discerning whenever your information is asked online and to immediately report to the authorities when suspicion arises,” PNP Chief, Police General Dionardo B Carlos said.
Victims of cybercrimes can report the incidents to the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group through email email@example.com or telephone number (632) 723 0401 local 7483.