Amid increasing cases of digital fraud, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) recently launched a financial education initiative aimed at raising awareness about online scams.
Dubbed as “Scam Proof,” the online platform consolidates information about different online scams and fraudulent activities and how to avoid them. Both consumers and institutions can report any fraud cases through the digital platform so the public can be warned of potential illicit schemes.
“By consolidating all our efforts, we become a community of anti-fraud advocates, not just among banks but also across industries,” Metrobank President Fabian S. Dee said during the launch last week. “Significantly, we hope to empower consumers as they help detect fraud.”
Metrobank Senior Vice President Digs A. Dimagiba said that the scammers have been taking advantage of the recent digital shift, noting that a report by TransUnion Philippines showed that suspected online fraud more than doubled during the pandemic.
“Clearly, there is a need for a consolidated effort, destination or a platform for fraud prevention content,” he said. “The more that knowledge is accumulated, consolidated and shared, the more powerful and empowered we are against fighting fraud.”
In “Scam Proof,” the users can learn about the basic bank account security measures so they can protect their confidential information. The website also provides knowledge on how to identify the red flags of potentially fraudulent activities.
All the reports about online scams will be reviewed and vetted by the administrators before sharing them on the online platform.
Apart from Metrobank, the Philippine Savings Bank, BDO Unibank Inc., Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Citibank Philippines and Credit Card Association of the Philippines contributed content about online scams. The initiative is also supported by Chamber of Thrift Banks and Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines, among others.
Meanwhile, both the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) welcomed the launch of “Scam Proof.”
BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said that the online platform is in line with the Central Bank’s strategic roadmap to boost the adaptation of digital financial technologies.
“As technology progresses, there will be other [scams] that will be created by bad actors to steal bank resources and customers’ money,” BAP President Cezar P. Consing said. “So to have one website—that basically collates examples of the latest fraud techniques—will be beneficial for everyone.”
As of end-September, the Ty-led bank saw its net earnings fall by nearly half to P11 billion from P21.6 billion the previous year due to higher provisions for bad loans.
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