Outwit these Six Fakes of Phishing

2019 June – Many Filipinos are warming up to online shopping. Of over 1,000 Filipino surveyed, 55% expect to spend more from online shopping.


This is according to the results of the 2018 PayPal Cross-Border Consumer Research. Respondents cite convenience, platform variety, and faster shipping as reasons for shopping online. In 2017, about P92.5 billion was spent on domestic trade and P42 billion on international trade. By the end of 2018, these figures are expected to increase by 32% and 47% respectively.


Online shopping requires the use of debit or credit cards, which gives lurking fraudsters the opportunity to phish or trick shoppers into divulging their personal information so they can use it to steal from them. Personal information includes usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account numbers.


It’s crucial for online shoppers to stay vigilant as online fraudsters become more creative and persuasive. Non-profit organization Better Business Bureau shares six phishing tricks and tips to help you outwit them:


1. Fake Websites

Incredible deals and massive sales creep into thousands of inboxes. Looking legitimate, they lure people into clicking on links where personal information is gathered. Remember to:

  • Check the sender’s address. Businesses will often use official email addresses (ex: @bdo.com.ph).
  • Spot spelling errors.
  • Before clicking on links, hover to see which website they will go. Secure website addresses begin with “https,” where “s” means entered information will be encrypted.


2. Fake Freebies

Everybody loves freebies. Fraudsters may use pop-up ads or send emails with titles that promise free gift cards. If the offer seems fishy, it might be phishing. Reminders:

  • Do not click on any link on the email. Mark the email as “spam” or “junk.”
  • Do not click on the pop-up ad. Instead, turn on the browser’s ad blocker.
  • If already clicked on, do not give any personal information as this can be used for identity theft.


3. Fake e-Cards

One way people exchange greetings is through e-cards, which fraudsters use to disguise their scams. Here some tips:

  • Check if the sender’s name is familiar. Only open emails from trusted sources and people.
  • Do not proceed when a prompt appears requesting for personal information before the e-card can be opened.
  • If the email has an attachment with an “.exe” extension, do not download. When opened, .exe or executable files run a program in the computer that may contain a virus.


4. Fake Delivery Notices

People who purchase items online expect a lot of shipping notifications. Fraudsters target online shoppers, posing as trusted businesses to gain access to their personal information. Remember:

  • Most businesses that sell products and services online provide a unique code to allow customers to track their items, from point of sale to delivery.
  • Many online shoppers prefer paying the moment they make a purchase, than paying upon their item is delivered. Fraudsters may send a notice requiring payment to receive the item. Always be familiar with the vendor’s payment terms.
  • Remember: Personal information should not be required by delivery services to deliver purchased items.


5. Fake Travel Promos

People who want more value for their money may fall into scams disguised as one-of-a-kind travel bargains. Resist temptation with these tips:

  • Be wary of unknown senders or companies offering economical travel packages. Always background-check any company before doing business with them.
  • Never send money to unknown entities.
  • Always ask for references before proceeding with business.


6. Fake Charities

Fraudsters may pretend to be legitimate charities. It’s important to be vigilant as much as it is to be generous. Remember to:

  • Research the charity’s background, such as its history, board of directors, activities, and contact information. Ensure that its official website details specific plans on how monetary donations will be used.
  • Find external sources that verify the charity’s legitimacy.


Fraudsters do not discriminate against age, gender, or background. Everyone is a target, and the only guard against their schemes is vigilance and education. To help Filipinos protect themselves against fraudsters, BDO Unibank, the country’s largest bank, mounted a mass awareness campaign.


BDO’s Anti-Fraud campaign aims to equip its customers and the general public with the needed know-how to see through and combat the most veiled phishing techniques and identify take-over scams. Internally, the bank has already integrated stricter authentication processes to protect its clients. It also continuously monitors the internet for phony messages and websites.


The bank advises online bankers to login their BDO Personal Online banking and immediately change their password if they think they may have responded to a suspicious email or feel that they account has been compromised.


BDO urges everyone who receives messages suspected as phishing attempts to get in touch via ReportPhish@bdo.com.ph or any of the following touch points:


Metro Manila: (632) 631-8000

International Toll-Free Numbers: IAC + 800-8-631-8000

Email: callcenter@bdo.com.ph

Facebook (Private Messenger): www.facebook.com/BDOUnibank


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