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Joshua Garcia, Saab Magalona share ‘red flags,’ tips vs e-wallet phishing scams

MANILA, Philippines — E-wallets are the way to go these days. They are a cool way to keep your finances secure, because you can shop for what you need, pay for it and have it delivered even when you do not have cash.

But, like any good thing, e-wallets have their share of dangers lurking around and unsuspecting “victims” may fall prey to the sinister plans of unscrupulous persons who have hatched e-wallet phishing scams.

To help address the problem, social media personalities — some celebrities, others content creators who share their daily dose of comical skits, life hacks and shopping "budols" — have joined hands with finance super app GCash. Their mission: To help spread awareness on e-wallet phishing scams, which are one of the most rampant cybercrimes in the country.

While most of them are in the business of entertaining audiences, whether in the big screen, on the boob tube, or in social media platforms, these celebrities and content creators are quick to lend a hand to help protect netizens’ hard-earned money from being stolen, and they do so through fun and educational videos.

First, these social media personalities identify the forms of e-wallet phishing scams going on so netizens will recognize them when these phishing attempts try to victimize them.

Take note of fake portals

GCash endorser Joshua Garcia takes the helm in spreading awareness on social media, sharing how e-wallet phishing scams could come in the form of: 1) fake portals in non-PAGCOR-accredited gambling sites (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) and , which instruct you to click a link “to claim your free cashback for using GCash”; 2) fraudsters who claim to be from GCash saying your account is on hold; and 3) fake rewards.

Singer-podcaster Saab Magalona, financial guru Chinkee Tan and writer-entrepreneur Ayn Bernos share the red flags, which are warning signs that may indicate unhealthy relationships, but they also extend to everyday, seemingly-harmless messages that might end up as scams. Through witty yet educational skits and reminders, the three social media personalities identify these three red flags:

  1. Caller asks for your MPIN and OTP. Do not give these.
  2. The message says you won in a raffle.
  3. Anything that is too good to be true is probably false.

Beware of the 'budol'

TV host Kaladkaren and filmmaker-podcaster Direk Tonet Jadaone revealed the kinds of "budol" and "karupukan" that people should not fall for.

Winning big through online games might seem like a good life hack to earn additional money, but Kaladkaren shared why non-PAGCOR sites, or fake online casinos, are literally "budol," making you lose money instead of earn more in the end.

Jadaone, meanwhile, already knows that a lot of Filipinos remain "marupok" and oblivious to red flags when it comes to relationships, but, as she reminds everyone in her video: “Alam kong mahilig kang ma-fall, pero ‘wag sa scam.”

Davao Conyo, who is known for making comedy skits, warned against the oversharer’s worst nightmare. He said that oversharing, including your personal information such as Mobile Personal Identification Number (MPIN) and One-Time Password (OTP), can lead to dire consequences.

Social media personality Pipay advised against TMI (too much information). In a video, Pipay plays a third wheel “bida-bida” friend, who ultimately reminds netizens why sharing too much information is never a good thing, especially when it’s your personal information at stake.

Dubbed the "multi-dogshow superstar" for impersonating celebrities, AC Soriano stages a fast talk segment in his video to remind people not to share sensitive information, such as MPIN and OTP, even when put under pressure.

Wise tips

As different celebrities and content creators show, it is important to be constantly aware of phishing scams, as cybercriminals have been increasingly creative to keep their target victims unsuspecting. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Think before clicking a link. Review the sender and the content of a suspicious message before responding or clicking on the link. If you are being offered rewards or prizes, backtrack if you have indeed joined a program or raffle and verify with the company through another channel. The e-wallet platform said it will never send links via SMS, email and messaging apps, so never click on links claiming to be from GCash.
  • Only transact through the GCash app. The app does not ask its users activate their account through a phone call or through messaging applications. All transactions are only done through the official GCash app, including resolving concerns related to the account. If a notice feels rushed, it’s most likely a phishing scam! Check your account through the app first to confirm if it is indeed on hold and don’t share your MPIN and OTP with anyone — even those who claim to be from GCash.
  • Carefully read the text messages that come with an OTP. If you receive an OTP through text message, make it a habit to read the entire message and make sure that it matches the request you made. If you did not make the request or if it is different from what you want to do, do not enter your OTP on any site or send it to anyone, to make sure you are not unknowingly linking your account to another device.
  • Never share your OTP and MPIN. Never provide your personal information if you did not initiate a request. As a rule, don’t provide sensitive information, such as your OTP and MPIN, even with your family, friends and other people claiming to be representatives of banks, companies, service providers and government agencies. As a rule, the company said it will never ask for these details from their users.

The e-wallet platform reminded the public to report to them immediately if they encounter any phishing scams or suspicious activities targeting their account. They may visit the Official GCash Help Center, send a message to its chat bot Gigi on its website, or simply typing, “I want to report a scam.”

RELATED: New GCash modus alert! Tips to avoid getting scammed

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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