(PNA file photo)


MANILA – A consumer group on Monday urged the National Bureau of Investigation to keep a tighter watch on online scammers who prey on year-end bonuses and incentives received by employees both from the public and private sectors.

In a letter to National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Medardo De Lemos, the Action for Consumerism and Transparency in Nation Building (Action) through its secretary general Jake Silo said many criminal syndicates are now eyeing workers’ bank accounts this holiday season when most companies and government agencies release bonuses of their employees.

“We humbly request for the NBI to start going after these criminals. We hope that leading to the holidays, authorities arrest as many as they can to not only weaken their network, but also to send the message that the government is serious in its crackdown against online financial scammers,” the group said.

The group said NBI should take immediate action so as not to repeat what happened last year when hundreds lost their hard-earned money to scammers during the holidays.

It said the threat is even more pronounced as millions of workers begin receiving their 13th-month pay and other Christmas bonuses, and overseas Filipinos going home for the holidays, bringing with them the money they saved for months.

“In other words, there will be plenty of money going around this December. This is the perfect storm for foreign and local syndicates to pull off the perfect heist,” the group said.

According to a published survey from Statista on personal finance conducted during the first quarter of the year, 42 percent of respondents who experienced digital fraud attempts were targeted with phishing attacks. In addition, 38 percent of respondents were targeted with money or gift card fraud schemes. (PNA)