Press Release
February 17, 2021

Gatchalian: Senate to investigate credit card fraud, unauthorized bank transactions

Senator Win Gatchalian said the Senate will proceed in its investigation on credit card fraud and other unauthorized bank transactions as existing laws show lack of necessary mechanisms to protect consumers from nefarious individuals.

"Mula noong ibinunyag natin ang pambibiktima sa aking credit card hanggang ngayon ay hindi humihinto ang pagdagsa ng mga reklamo na natatanggap ng aking upisina mula sa mga biktima ng unauthorized online bank fund transfers at credit card transactions," Gatchalian said.

"Hindi alam ng mga kawawang biktima kung saan nila maidudulog ang kanilang mga hinaing. Dagdag pa dito ang kawalan ng mabilis na proseso para matugunan agad ang kanilang mga reklamo," he added.

The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies said the focus of their proceedings will be the efforts on the part of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the banks in safeguarding the interests of the consumers.

This early, Gatchalian is mulling over introducing a bill mandating consumer protection and education as one of the primary and strategic objectives of financial regulators to allow them to address financial inclusion and minimize fraudulent transactions from occurring. This is to spare the victims of fraudulent and unauthorized bank and credit card transactions from the tedious litigation process which often takes months and even years, the senator said.

He further explained that such a proposal is aimed at empowering financial regulators and strengthening their enforcement powers, insofar as consumer protection is concerned, to ensure that financial institutions comply with financial consumer protection regulations.

"It's like a double whammy for the victims who already lost their hard-earned money to fraudsters and then spend some more just so justice could be served," Gatchalian said.

"Aside from consumer protection, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed especially on the aspect of cyber security -- the challenges and best practices. Banks are very attractive targets for hackers and scammers especially during this time of the pandemic," the senator concluded.

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