Some teachers lost money through online bank transfers, group says

Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2022 04:51 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2022 10:00 PM

MANILA (UPDATE)— A group said Monday it has received reports from teachers who lost their money through unauthorized online bank transfers. 

In a statement, the Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC) said the educators lost money ranging from P26,000 to P121,000 from their Landbank accounts.

"Maraming ulat kaming natatatanggap mula sa ating mga kasamahang guro na nawalan ng pera sa Landbank account matapos ma-transfer ito gamit ang online banking," the group said.

"Naiulat na ito sa mga LBP (Land Bank of the Philippines) branches at nakatakda nating pormal na dalhin sa atensiyon ng DepEd Central Office sa araw ng Lunes," it added.

TDC Chairperson Benjo Basas separately told ABS-CBN News that his group was in touch with 15 teachers from the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon over the issue.

The TDC urged other teachers with similar experiences to report the incidents to the group.

June Arvin Gudoy, director of the Department of Education's public affairs service, said the agency is looking into the issue.

"The office of [Undersecretary] Anne [Sevilla] is now validating the information," he told ABS-CBN News.

In a separate statement, the DepEd said it has not received formal reports yet, and that Landbank has also reached out and assured that "cases on unauthorized withdrawals are properly handled and given utmost attention".

"DepEd enjoins all of its personnel to immediately inform their respective Divisions, and report any issues to their nearest Landbank branch," it said.

The Land Bank of the Philippines meanwhile said "its systems were not hacked and remain secure". Based on its initial investigation, the devices of the teachers "were hacked via phishing which compromised their personal information".

The bank has reached out to affected customers and assured resolution to "these isolated cases the soonest possible time".

It also asked the public to remain vigilant against phishing scams and other forms of online banking fraud.

"Landbank reminds its customers to refrain from opening suspicious emails, links and attachments, and sharing your account and personal information. Official Landbank representatives will never ask for the critical financial information of customers," it said.

— With a report from Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

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