The COVID-19 virus continues to spread globally and fraudsters are trying to exploit the outbreak as an opportunity for cyber-crime. They do this by posing as trusted organisations such as Banks, Government, charitable institutions, and even the World Health Organisation. They may pretend to offer a safe haven for your money or provide medical guidance. They may trick you into making a payment into a safe account, asking you for personal or financial information.
We aim to support and provide you with information, in order to protect you from fraud during this period.
Here are some recent COVID-19 fraud examples for your reference:
- Fraudsters mimic banking websites which are lucrative targets for cybercriminals hoping to defraud individuals.
- Fraudsters impersonating legitimate merchants selling on-demand items such as masks and disinfectants enticing customers to access links in their emails.
- Always check the sender’s email address to reveal the true address.
- Don't respond to unsolicited emails requesting information, and don't follow any links either.
- Fraudsters pretending to be from HSBC are collecting sensitive account/card information for payment holidays, loan payment extensions, waiving of annual fee, etc.
- Fraudsters pretending to be from government agencies or private institutions contacting customers for personal information in relation to COVID-19. Such information may be used by the fraudsters to facilitate banking transactions posing as the real customer.
- Never share your personal data, confidential banking information such as Username, Password, PIN, Security code, 3-digit Card Verification Value (CVV) at the back of your credit/debit card, and Card expiry date.
- If you are suspicious or feel vulnerable, don’t be afraid to end the call and refuse requests for information.
- The intention of these text messages are to lure their victims into calling back on a fraudulent number, visit a fraudulent website which will ask you to input personal information or could download malware.
- Cases may include unsolicited SMS advise on the customer’s bank account and they need to contact the customer urgently or even confirm a delivery of an unexpected parcel.
- Even if the SMS appears under an HSBC thread in your mobile phone, never share your personal and contact details.
- Do not reply to the message and delete it immediately.
- Fraudsters may also deceive individuals by making them believe they are making donations to charities/relief operations. Most collections and appeals from groups/organisations are legitimate but be aware of fraudsters that are looking to exploit the current COVID-19 situation and steal donations.
- A fraudster may either pose as a collector for a charity they’ve made up, or they misuse the name of a genuine one. In any of these cases, the money you donate doesn’t go to charity; the fraudsters keep it for themselves.
- Only donate to organisations you know and trust.
- Thoroughly check online communications where beneficiary details can be manipulated.
- HSBC will never provide you with any numbers or beneficiary-related information onscreen to input into your Security Device to generate a security code.
Remember that at HSBC, we would NEVER:
- Call and ask for your PIN or password, even by tapping them into your phone keypad.
- Ask you to provide numbers to us over the phone from an e-mail, text message or from your security device.
- Ask you to transfer money into another account in your name.
- Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to us for safekeeping.
- Send someone to your home to collect cash, your PIN, cards or cheque books.
If you think that you have been a victim of fraud, please call HSBC’s Customer Service at (02) 8858-0000 from Metro Manila, +1-800-1-888-8555 PLDT domestic toll-free, (02) 7976-8000 from overseas, (country code) +800-100-85-800 international toll-free for selected countries, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For safe and secured online banking, you may enter the URL in the browser address bar directly (i.e. www.hsbc.com.ph) and navigate through the page securely.
For further information, visit: https://www.hsbc.com.ph/help/security-reminders/.