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OFW won’t get back money he lost through internet banking

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MANILA, Philippines – Two months after losing almost P50,000 from internet banking, overseas Filipino worker Stephen Yu is still struggling to get his money back, which he might not be able to do because the bank refuses to pay for it.

Instead, 31-year-old Yu said he was offered by local banking giant Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. P25,000 worth of gift cheques as a “sign of good will.”

A request for interview by this reporter was turned down by Juri Fabito of the bank’s management unit, saying the matter was “confidential” between the bank and the client.

“We already discussed the result of our investigation to Mr. Yu and we shall be meeting him anytime this week to give our formal reply,” Fabito said in an email on November 27, 2012.

“My apologies but what we have discussed is a matter confidential between us and Mr. Yu,” Fabito added.

But Yu furnished INQUIRER.net a copy of the letter handed to him by the bank last week regarding the result of its own investigation into the case.

The letter dated November 23, 2012, and signed by Emmanuel T. Narciso, senior vice president and head of BDO’s transaction banking group, read: “We regret to advise you that we are unable to reimburse you for the amount you are claiming as we have no basis to justify the same given that the transactions were executed using a valid BDO RIB User ID and password combination.

“However, in line with our commitment to our depositors  in general and solely as a sign of goodwill/liberality, we are giving  you Sodexho Premium Pass with a total value of P25,000 subject to the terms and conditions as per attached Deed of Release and Quitclaim,” the letter  said.

“Please understand that you are fully responsible for the security of both your BDO RIB User ID and password as well as the amount of loss arising from such unauthorized transaction as stipulated in Section 2 under “Liability” of the Bank’s BDO Internet Banking Terms and Conditions by which you agreed to be bound,” the letter added.

On October 30, 2012, INQUIRER.net reported Yu’s story based on a letter-complaint he filed to Medardo F. Fabro, bank manager at SM City, Marilao, Bulacan, last October 25, 2012.

In his letter, Yu narrated how he lost a total of P49, 500 between September 24 and 25, 2012, from his internet banking account with the BDO.

He said he was unaware that there had been withdrawals being made from his account until he opened his email in the morning of September 25 and saw the notifications sent to him by the bank.

The emails showed that he supposedly made his first withdrawal of P500 at 11:06 p.m. of Sept.  24, 2012 followed by 49 more withdrawals of P1,000 each or a total of  P49,500 in just an hour and a half. The last withdrawal was recorded at 12:35 a.m. of September 25.

Yu suspected that his account had been hacked.

But in its letter, the BDO said they conducted a thorough investigation on the matter and found out that a total of P59,500 was debited from  Yu’s account between  September 24 and September 25 “representing transactions to Globe Prepaid Mobile Number 09153611280.”

A total of P10,000 were automatically credited back to the account “representing unsuccessful transactions,” the bank said.

“A valid and legitimate BDO RIB User ID and password were successfully entered. Per audit log under your User ID, there were no password retires prior to the unsuccessful consummation of the disputed transaction. This same valid User ID was used to perform the alleged unauthorized PMR transaction,” it further said.

In a phone interview, Yu claimed that when the bank representatives explained the result of its investigation, he was told that he might have been a victim of phishing. He supposedly opened another site and gave all his information about his bank account.

The bank, he said, implied that he might have shared his bank details with other people, who had accessed his accounts.

Yu strongly denied all these.

“Unang una, bakit ko naman ibibigay sa ibang tao yung password ko, yung  information ko sa bangko? Katangahan ko naman yun (Why would I give my password, my bank information to other people? I am not that stupid),” he said.

Asked then why his account was accessed easily by the robber, Yu said, “Yun nga ang tinatanong ko sa kanila. Baka naman inside job yun kasi one try lang (That’s what I’ve been asking them. I said it might be an inside job because it only happened in one try).”

Yu said he was still contemplating whether or not to accept the P25,000 worth of gift cheques offered to him by the  bank.

“Ayaw ko talaga syang kunin baka mamaya pag kinuha ko, ibig sabihin tatahimik na lang ako. Kaya parang ayaw ko talaga syang kunin (I’m not really inclined to take it. That means I’d just keep mum after that, so I’m hesitant to get it),” he said.

Yu said he was also considering transferring all his accounts with BDO to other banks because of this bad experience.


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  • mulanay

    If it’s an inside job, there should be plenty of complaints against BDO. SInce it’s only Mr. Yu so far who has come forward to complain, he must have really been a victim of phishing. 

    As a warning to other credit card users, never ever consumate a transaction when they ask for your credit card details. At Greenhills, there are these shops that have no credit card machines and when you use a credit card to buy something, they would refer you to another shop that would process your purchase. This shop would ask you to write your credit card details, including date of birth, etc. By mistake, I did give my credit card details once and I realized later that all those details could be used by someone to shop through the Internet. It was only after a month that I had my credit card account closed but thankfully nothing happened. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1851103546 Mark Angelo Gonzales

    I had a very similar experience with bdo internet banking recently this NOVEMBER 26 2012 my fund has a transaction to globe prepaid number 0927-8603254 total amount was debited to my account is php 13,000

    i already reported it to bdo fraud department
    they told me that i was a victim of phishing..

    15days investigation there are not sure the if they
    can bring back the amount was debited…
    and im still waiting for the email or call

    hopefully mabalik nila amount na nawala sakin. 

  • walangutak

    This is not the first time that a depositor of BDO has lost her savings.There was an incident in Cebu city where a retired government employee lost almost all her savings had not it be that one of the teller of the bank who happened to be a friend of the client inform the depositor that somebody inside the bank was withdrawing her money. after so called internal investigation, it was found out that the transactions was done by one of their bank tellers with the connivance of the branch manager who signed the authority to withdraw the deposit. After that nothing was in the news, possibly because BDO used its resources to silence the media and settled the matter with the depositor to act as if nothing happened. Probabaly there is a nation wide syndicate operating within the bank structure and tolerated by management  by keeping silent on the matter. This transaction happened in branch in one of the big malls in Cebu city.

    • amanda leigh

       i guess so. that would be fair if the sm-bdo”s SY will pay the frauds, but suppose they pass the burden to the client servers ? not even tried saving in bdo. interest is very nominal though its such a universal bank kuno

  • mr dt

    P500 withdrawal is a test so the criminals saw it works so they immediately made fast furious withdrawal – 
    never give away your credit card details and always shop only in usa base internet online store

    i got several filipinos who shop thru ShoppingBoy com

    • Diepor

      Everything from US is safe ???? Why you cant shop in an English or an Swedish store and so on ?? You are funny.

  • stealth ice

    thank you very much. i was supposed to registered my account online in BDO. but because of this better to visit the branch and atm site for any transaction than to lose money without your knowledge.

    BDO wants to purchase all the banks but cant invest in technologies to protect their customers.

  • Diepor

    I have used internet banking for the last 10 years, different banks. Never any problems. Its where i pay all my bills and get my salary. My windows tells me if I am visiting a site that can not be trusted.

  • Les Hildebrandt

    Time for the banks do a up grade in there security and get out of the STONE AGE.  In Canada when i sign into a different location in the net  the bank requires me to answer personal identity question from a list created when the account is set up as a 3rd level of security Eg; ( what was name of your first pet ) Then if my account was phished at this time i am still safe !!! and the hackers cant get me as they will log on from a new location and the bank will ask a new question in the list and not the last one used So i dare the hackers to get me hahahahaha PS one wrong answer to the bank sends me a direct phone call to my CP if not responded to they lock it and i will have to go direct to a bank location to verify my id or call special 1800 toll free number any where in the world
    THANKS CANADA TRUST TD NET BANKING



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