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Scammer Behind Anomalous GCash Transactions, Says Exec

Philippine-based mobile wallet app, GCash, is currently investigating anomalous transactions that occurred in the accounts of several users over the past two days. According to GCash's initial investigations, a scammer was behind the fraudulent transactions that affected the accounts of some of its users. GCash's logs revealed that a link was sent to several users. Those who clicked on the link received a request to link a device, which then allowed the scammer to phish information from customers. The fraudster requested to link a device, which then allowed them to conduct transactions using the customers' MPIN and OTP.

The scammer was able to transfer funds from some users' accounts to accounts in EastWest Bank and Asia United Bank (AUB). However, GCash confirmed that the money remained "intact" because it was able to trace and return the amounts back to the affected users. As of now, GCash has not disclosed the exact number of affected users as investigations are still ongoing.

GCash's Vice President for Corporate Communications, Gilda Maquilan, clarified that there was no hacking involved in the anomalous transactions. She also mentioned that GCash is continuously upgrading its security mechanisms and technologies, including the launch of its "double safe" feature, which requires users to pass a facial recognition test when linking a device.

Maquilan added that GCash has been working closely with the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation to catch fraudsters and scammers. She also reminded GCash users to be cautious and vigilant against phishing scams, especially with the deluge of text messages and merchant sites that say they are a certain brand but are actually phishing scams.

GCash's incident comes as Globe, the telco behind GCash, reported that it blocked 4.07 million malicious bank-related messages in the first quarter of the year, which is 2.7% higher than the number of malicious messages from the previous year. Globe has been filtering a record-high 3 billion scam and spam messages between January 2022 and January 2023.

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