Banks warn against 'borrowing' bank accounts
The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) on Thursday warned Filipinos against lending their bank accounts for money transfers, as they may end up as money mules, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
In an advisory, the BAP called on the public to exercise caution and refrain from giving others access to their bank accounts for whatever purpose, especially for money transfers to another entity.
Under the scheme, cybercriminals offer financial incentives in exchange for access to their bank accounts. They will then use such accounts for money laundering or transferring stolen money from other victims.
Once access is granted to an account, the account holder may be considered a money mule, and may end up as a victim as well as an unwilling and unwitting assistant to the crime.
“Therefore, the Filipino is strongly discouraged from accepting money from suspicious strangers and individuals in exchange for lending accounts to these criminals,” the advisory read.
“We call on all stakeholders to work together to stop this criminal act from proliferating. Our collective efforts at protecting our wealth is the key to safeguarding our future,” it added.
Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) show that there may be some P2 billion lost to financial schemes from 2019 to 2022.
Financial regulators are now pushing for the passage of the proposed Financial Consumer Protect Act, which seeks to establish protection standards for consumers, and pushes transparent and responsible pricing. It also mandates the respectful treatment of privacy and client data protection.
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