Poe to BSP: Help fraud victims get their money back

Poe to BSP: Help fraud victims get their money back

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Grace Poe urged the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to champion consumer rights and use its clout with banks to ensure fraud victims get their money back.

In a statement on Tuesday, Poe said, “financial regulators are keen on throwing banks a line when they are deemed to be too big to fail. Equally, individuals deserve proper and timely support. People should be at the core of what [the] government does and no one should be too small to ignore.”

According to the BSP, people were still afraid to conduct online transactions out of fear of being scammed or hacked, which they attributed to a lack of awareness.

Meanwhile, victims of online bank fraud have created social media groups to share their stories. One group gathered data on the amount of money people lost to fraud, with over 150 victims revealing losses totaling P7.5 million.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) have also been victimized. However, some are lucky enough to be in different time zones and awake at the time of the crime, allowing them to contact their banks and have their accounts frozen, limiting their losses.

“Addressing the concerns of consumers and helping them get their hard-earned money back will help improve confidence in online transactions,” Poe added.

“People have lost their jobs. They shouldn’t unduly lose their savings, too,” Poe concluded.

In August 2020, the BSP launched an automated chatbot system to handle customer complaints against financial institutions that have committed fraud.