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The Budgetarian

New GCash modus alert! Tips to avoid getting scammed

Halee Andrea Alcaraz - Philstar.com
New GCash modus alert! Tips to avoid getting scammed
An unknown woman is shown using electronic wallet GCash
GCash/Released

MANILA, Philippines — Beware of this new financial modus perpetrated by malicious actors using GCash, the popular e-wallet that’s used by over 60 million people across the country.

It seems that the targets for this new scam are usually store owners or anyone who offers cash-in services. 

In a case posted by a certain Cam’z Jerico Kirk Hammet on Facebook, someone cashed in P100 but the store owner ended up losing a total of P7,000. 

The modus went like this: the scammers cashed in just a small amount. After the transaction when the store owner had closed the app, the scammer said that they needed to take a picture of the transaction’s confirmation. But since the store owner already closed the GCash app, he needed to show the text message format of the confirmation. 

But while the store owner was showing the text message to the one who was posing as someone who needed to cash in, the scammer’s accomplice was already trying to access the store owner's GCash account because they had already seen his phone number and the one-time password (OTP), which popped up the moment they were trying to look at the text message format of the P100 transaction’s confirmation.

After a few minutes, the scammers got to illegally access the store owner’s GCash account and were able to steal all of the victim’s money on GCash.

This modus is very simple and easy to conduct, but could lead to huge inconveniences especially when money is tight.

Ways to avoid falling victim to this scam

1. Screenshot or download every transaction’s receipt 

Just to be extra careful, always take a screenshot or download your transactions’ receipt directly from the GCash app. This will let you avoid having to look at or show the text message format of the confirmation. This is also safer and more secure because text messages could be faked very easily.

2. Don’t let them hold your phone

If you weren’t  able to download the receipt from the GCash app, be careful when showing the text message confirmation and don’t let them hold your phone. This prevents scammers from scrolling through your phone and from accessing anything other than the text message receipt itself.

3. Just tell them the reference number

In every GCash transaction, there’s a confirmation that’s sent to the one who received the money. In some cases, you may just mention the reference number to the person who cashed in their money. 

4. Have two phones

One phone could be where your SIM card is in, while the other is for doing your transactions. If they don’t have to look at the phone where you receive your OTPs and receipts or confirmations, scammers won’t be able to access any other information that they have to access to execute their scams.

5. Never share your OTP with anyone

This is true not just for GCash users. This can also be applied when using other financial technology (FinTech) apps and services or digital banking. The OTP is usually the last key scammers need to access someone’s accounts. There’s a reason it’s called a one-time password. It’s so that nobody else can use it. Sharing your OTP automatically defeats the purpose of OTPs.

6. Never be too trusting

Scammers are prevalent, especially now as transactions and payments are being done online. While the Internet has made it easy for people to do business, it has also made it easier for scammers to carry out their crimes. But as we’ve encountered in previous and current scams, the lesson is to never be too trusting – be it in using GCash or in any other aspect of life. Being extra careful and skeptical will save you from a lot of inconvenience and pain later on.

RELATED: Friends, family and online apps: Where Filipinos go when they're short on cash

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