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Have you ever heard of “Money Mules?”

This is the latest modus operandi of scammers who fool unsuspecting people into “lending” their bank accounts in exchange for a huge amount of money.

Once recruited, these “money mules” allow the scammers to use their personal bank accounts to receive cash deposits or online transfers from illegal sources posing as legitimate transactions such as charity or COVID-19 donations, among others.

In the Philippines, mules can be prosecuted under Republic Act 9160 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act, with imprisonment of up to seven years and penalty of up to P3 million. 

“Do not let other people use your bank account, debit card or credit card to make transactions on their behalf. Never provide your personal and account details to anyone,” BDO emphasized in support of the Bangko Sentral call for depositors to stay vigilant against scammers.

The Bank advises clients and the general public to ignore suspicious calls, emails, private messages and website links offering easy cash via the use of their own bank account.

Call to action 

BDO reiterated that the most effective way of preventing scams targeting bank customers is never to share bank information to other people no matter how convincing they appear to be “real.”

“To all bank customers, your login details and One-Time PIN (OTP) are yours and yours alone. Nobody should own them but you.  Once you logged in your username and password, you will receive an OTP from your bank as its final security measure. Do not share this OTP to anyone else, especially to the scammers through their fake websites, or those posing as bank employees,” it said. 

Emails which ask customers to click on links are scam attacks, even if it includes the spelled out bank website as a hyperlink. 

“Here’s a useful tip, to check the veracity of the email, let your cursor linger on the weblink without clicking on it. A preview will reveal that it leads to a different site and not to the official website of your bank,” added BDO.  

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Written by eduy

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