ASEAN scammers

A friend and former colleague thought she was getting a birthday gift from @Globe when she received a message telling her she was getting a P300 cash reward from @GCcash.

“HURRY! Last chance to claim your P300 PHP from GRewards! [VALID UNTIL JULY 13, 2002],” the message said. The recipient was asked to click on the button below the message.

She received the email past 8 p.m. and in the blink of an eye – literally – her GCash account was emptied. The scammer got more than P2,000, her entire GCash balance.

After she lost her money, she looked closer at the messages she received and realized they were sent from Vietnam. She has asked GCash if there was a chance she could get her money back but, as of this writing, she is still waiting for a response.

I almost lost money in my @PayMaya account (before it changed its name to Maya). I was waiting to pay for a purchase when this message came telling me to send payment through a certain account. 

As I really expected to pay for my purchase, I did not hesitate to send the money. Fortunately, I noticed right away that so much more than the actual amount I owed was withdrawn. I immediately reported it to PayMaya and they were able to reverse the transaction.

My scammer, PayMaya told me, was in Indonesia.

Advice from @GCash

To avoid Being victimized, there are some things to remember.

First off, use ONLY official customer support channels. GCash’s support channel is #GCheckMuna. The message you get may have an authentic looking logo but if you have the mobile application on your phone, use that instead of clicking on links from other sources.

Read the message carefully. Philippine mobile numbers either begin with a zero or +632 for Metro Manila – 63 is the international telephone code for the Philippines and 2 is the area code for the National Capital Region. Some other parts of the country would have different area codes but, if it is a Philippine number, 63 should be there.

GCash also offers these tips:

Double and even triple check your cashless transactions before hitting the send or submit button.

● Be aware of the various types of scams. Stay up to date on fraudsters’ modus operandi on the news or from trusted experts and organizations like GCash. Some scammers resort to swindling or use account takeover to scam people.

● Avoid account takeover or phishing. Scammers often pose as a company representative or a loved one to trick you into giving your One-time Password (OTP). Never share your MPIN (mobile banking personal identification number) or OTP.  Don’t click links outside of the GCash app.

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