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.