MANILA – Cybercrimes increased to more than PHP1 billion this year as more people turn to digital financial transactions since the pandemic started to adhere to movement restrictions targeted to help address coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.
In a virtual briefing on Wednesday, Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) cybersecurity committee vice chair Ramon Jocson said the figure of over PHP1 billion losses from frauds and unauthorized withdrawals are estimates based on the reports of BAP members alone.
“In terms of the volume, we estimate that it has probably gone up maybe three times as compared to 2019,” said Jocson, who is also Bank of the Philippine Islands executive vice president and chief operating officer.
He said the actual figures are higher since BAP estimates are based on reports submitted by their member-banks and does not include those of other financial institutions.
He attributed the increase of cybercrimes to opportunity provided by greater adoption of digital financial transactions.
BAP and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint cybersecurity awareness program called “Cybersecurity X.”
During the same event, BAP president and Philippine National Bank president and chief executive officer Wick Veloso said current laws on cybercrimes “should probably be used and understood more by having the ability to put someone behind bars and to chase those cyber criminals and be able to set the example.”
“And for us, as cybercrimes progress and more laws are needed, then that is the time that we are going to address this, as we get to see how they do try to avoid being prosecuted,” he said.
The end-goal of the BAP and KBP tie-up, he said, is to allow every Filipino who falls victim to cybercrimes to have the ability to report the crime to the police and eventually succeed in bringing the perpetrators behind bars. (PNA)