BDO addresses clients’ complaints, steps up probe of fraud attacks | Inquirer Business
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BDO addresses clients’ complaints, steps up probe of fraud attacks

/ 05:55 AM January 11, 2018
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Facing snowballing customer complaints of unauthorized banking transactions, the country’s largest lender, BDO Unibank, vowed to devote more manpower to fraud investigation.

In an interview, a woman who works at a communications company said that around P4,500 had been debited from her regular peso savings account in June last year for an online purchase from media library iTunes, but she never had any iTunes account.

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“I complained at my branch (BDO ADB) and I was told I will be given a reference number. I wasn’t able to recover the money anymore,” she said.

Then on Dec. 8, the same woman saw another P8,000 in unauthorized withdrawal from the same account. She filed a complaint but said it was a challenge to follow up as it was difficult to connect to the bank’s hotline and once connected, the lines got choppy.

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Other clients, including some overseas Filipinos, reported even larger amounts of unauthorized transactions and shared their troubles in social media.
“We want to let you know that we are very much aware of customers sharing their upsetting experiences of bank account fraud such as withdrawals and purchases done without their knowledge,” BDO said in a statement yesterday.

“We sincerely apologize for the pain and grief that this caused our customers. Nothing is more important to us than your trust that we will be able to keep your money safe and secure. We would like to reassure you that we are committed to investigating and bringing resolution to each and every case brought to our attention,” the bank added.

BDO admitted an “extraordinary rise” in fraud attacks on the entire industry starting October of last year. It had reported a significant increase in claims of unauthorized online and offline purchases taking place in other countries.

“Given these extraordinary times we are committed to providing extraordinary short-term and long-term measures. We have significantly increased our human resources focused on fraud investigation. We have committed to a long-term effort to educating the public on how to better protect their account information,” the bank said.

BDO said it was likely that crime syndicates were ramping up their efforts to collect card and information details, through physical means such as skimming, and electronic means such as phishing and social engineering.
After the information is sold on to an online black market, any individual can access the black market to purchase the card information.

In explaining how its investigation works, BDO said such incidents must be reported by the customer. Based on those reports, the bank would launch an investigation to understand where the fraud took place.
This is a thorough and complex investigation involving five parties: customer, customer’s bank, third-party payment system, third-party payment processor of the merchant and the merchant.

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