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GoTyme Bank strongly urges early reporting of scams

  • Falling victim to an online scam can be dangerous and embarrassing, but allowing the shame to keep you silent is even worse. When this happens, authorities advise, first, to cease all communication with anyone you suspect is trying to, or has scammed you.
  • The next thing to do is report the scam. It is important to contact the proper authorities as soon as possible to help recover lost funds and to prevent others from falling prey to the same scam.
  • GoTyme Bank reminds everyone to be vigilant and follow protocols recommended by authorities in the event of a scam: Cooperate with the bank and the police, and refrain from laying the blame on your bank.
  • Time is of the essence: Inform sending bank so it can notify receiving bank, call receiving bank immediately, and file a police report as soon as possible.

Following is the timeline of a recent report of a scam. It’s a case of fake seller scam which happened at 4pm on a Friday. The victim transferred P50K from her bank to the fake seller’s account with GoTyme Bank. The victim informed GoTyme Customer Service at around 7pm (but it should have been made earlier) and an internal case report was immediately made. GoTyme fraud strategy head, Jason Brasileño, then called the victim to urge her to report the incident to police as soon as possible and not to wait until Monday, which the victim had allegedly planned on doing. Brasileño convinced the victim to file the police report on Saturday morning.

The scam involved a fake online seller of cars, who had conned the victim into putting a down payment of P50K on the item from her bank to GoTyme. Fortunately, the team, once alerted, acted immediately, traced the money trail and put the account on hold. It was also a good thing that the money was still intact in GoTyme.

In this situation, in which all the people and agencies involved did not lose a day to act on the incident, it is highly likely that the victim will recover their money.

Be the best custodian of your resources

Prevention, through awareness, is a vital tool in combating scammers. Experts have, time and again, have given online communities the following pro tip: “Stop, breathe, ask,” as  “Often, scammers rush their victims and push lots of emotional hot buttons to get you to stop thinking rationally. Never let strangers force you into fast decisions. Pause, calm yourself, and think clearly and critically. Chances are you’ll quickly see the situation for what it is. Don’t be afraid to hang up and validate with your financial institution and/or law enforcement.”

While everyone has responsibility to prevent a scam incident—financial institutions, law enforcement, and consumers—the latter plays the biggest role in protecting themselves.

Says Brasileño: “We cannot overemphasize the importance of vigilance in all matters especially online activities and financial transactions.”

The most reported scams in the Philippines over the previous years, and especially during Christmas, are fake online sellers, shopping websites, and shipping and delivery notifications; and scams that have to do with free trials, gifts, crypto investment, foreign exchange investment, loans, tech support, “emergencies” involving relatives or friends, romance, and online charity.

GoTyme Bank partner Scam Watch Pilipinas, a cybersecurity movement intended to educate as many Filipinos as possible against cyber fraud and online scams, has enjoined the public to develop four attitudes that could prevent them from becoming a victim of online scams:

  • Magdamot – be stingy; never give money or information to people you don’t know or you have just met
  • Magduda – be suspicious; do not fall prey to too-good-to-be-true offers
  • Mang-isnob – be a snob; ignore SMS, email or social media messages with threats or warning coming from banking, financial and e-commerce institutions especially if you know that you have no pending transaction with them
  • Magsumbong – report incidents of scam to the Inter-Agency Response Center (I-ARC) Hotline 1326

The AI arms race

If banks and financial institutions are raising their game in the fight against fraud, scammers are also getting better at what they do. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the common tool being used by both financial institutions and scammers. The latter now use AI in so-called deepfake to fabricate fake IDs, forge faces, and clone voices.

Last year, The New York Times published a story featuring instances in which customers’ voices were synthesized in an attempt to get bank employees to transfer money.

But voice cloning is just one of the new tools in the arsenal of tricksters who are getting smarter, savvier, quicker, and more devious. Both Brasileño and Scam Watch Pilipinas spokesman Art Samaniego have confirmed the alarming rise in cases of scams and cyber fraud in the country especially during the recent Christmas holidays. Brasileño says, “GoTyme tries to harmonize the digital banking that provides their customers real people instead of robots talking and addressing their needs.”

He adds that GoTyme has invested much to acquire sophisticated AI technology to fend off AI-aided cyber frauds, thus readily flagging unusual transactions to thwart any fraud or scam attempt.

Moreover, AI considerably boosts real-time detection, as it can decipher vast amounts of data extremely quickly. It can also compare the data to datasets about a user’s normal behavioral patterns. “Thus it can quickly detect anomalies in bank app usage, payments, and other transactions,” he explains. “This all happens quickly in real-time, which speeds up fraud detection. This allows you to prevent rather than detect fraud, and it also reduces the risk of ongoing schemes.”

GoTyme assures the public and its customers that it will always listen to the problem or issue at hand through helpful humans who will walk you through the correct processes.