Senate pursues credit card fraud


MANILA — The Senate starts its investigation on credit card frauds involving “unauthorized” transactions with banks. Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies, says they are focusing on how the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and private banks safeguard the interests of bank clients.

Himself a victim of credit card racketeers, Gatchalian points out that complaints from other scam victims continue to mount. His office has been receiving complaints regarding “unauthorized online bank fund transfers and credit card transactions.

“The poor victims where to go to lodge their complaints,” he says, as he wails of the absence of a clear process to quickly respond to victims’ complaints. Senate investigators are now considering endorsing the passage of remedial legislation “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.”

Gatchalian explains this will “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 says that such a proposal is aimed at empowering financial regulators and providing strong enforcement authority where consumer protection is concerned. It is to “ensure that financial institutions comply with financial consumer protection regulations,” he explains.

“It is 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 says.

“Aside from consumer protection, there are yet 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,” he adds. (BG/Headline PH)


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