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NBI starts probe of phishing attack on teachers

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
NBI starts probe of phishing attack on teachers
Facade of the National Bureau of Investigation along Taft Avenue, Manila.
Philstar.com / Google Street View, File

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has started its probe on a phishing scam that targeted teachers’ accounts at the Land Bank of the Philippines.

NBI cybercrime chief Vic Lorenzo told The STAR that at least 14 teachers went to his office on Monday to file their affidavits.

So far, evidence showed “this is not a database compromise,” Lorenzo said.

In a television interview, Department of Education employee Joseph Damian said he received text messages in the middle of the night about transactions involving one-time pins.

His savings account was wiped out of P163,000, leaving him with just P100 available balance.

“I saved that money for a wedding with my girlfriend this year. I was only able to start saving when I got regularized in 2017,” Damian said in Filipino, crying.

“I hope they don’t use the talents the Lord gave them on bad deeds. They do not know the hardships endured by those they are stealing from. I hope they are bothered by their conscience,” he added.

Teachers’ Dignity Coalition chairman Benjo Basas said Landbank should have alerted its clients about suspicious transactions before the money was taken away.

The Department of Justice has given the NBI 30 days to submit a report on its probe, NBI officer in charge Eric Distor said.

Landbank promised to cooperate with the NBI and do an internal investigation, but it maintained that its system is secure from hacking.

The NBI is investigating another phishing attack on banking clients since its arrest of five suspects, including two Nigerians, for the unauthorized transfers of money from 700 BDO Unibank accounts to the fictitious “Mark Nagoyo” accounts in Union Bank of the Philippines.

The NBI said the suspects used some clients’ compromised accounts to generate one-time pins for the money transfers.

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