There has been a lot of cases in the Fil-Aus community where Facebook and email accounts had been hacked and messages sent by the impostors to Friends of the owners of the accounts.  These included well-known members of the community.

The Facebook account on Messenger of author, Dr Deborah Ruiz-Wall OAM, was hacked by scammers in the Philippines. The scammers impersonated an acquaintance of Deborah in the context of inviting her online. She was instructed to text back a code sent to her. That was the start of a successful hack. Identity theft was used to milk funds from contact list — also stolen. Be alert to methods used by online hackers.

What follows is her story shared in her own words.

Don’t be the next victim of cybercrime. I fell for it. A friend on Messenger sent me a code to invite me to a group event online. I thought nothing of it. I confirmed that I received the code. Then she asked me to send the code number back to her. I had no idea that I was talking to the scammer impersonating as my friend. I became the next victim of identity theft.

The hackers now possessed my email address, mobile number, photos I had posted, and my contact list. They stole my identity, and asked my friends on my Facebook list for financial help. One of them deposited A$1000 (36,000 pesos) to BPI Family Savings Bank 0626257456 under Deborah Ruiz Wall using Gcashmobile 09537731635.  Another friend deposited $10 as a test. She was asked to put in more. She didn’t. The names scammers used are: Ariel Montane R and Resale Montes. These names may be bogus but surely the mobile number is genuine and traceable.

Scammers engaged victims in online conversations like: Can I borrow funds Sar. I’ll pay you back tomorrow bcuz my online account got daily limit”. We have all the screenshots of their text. We suspect that a bank officer maybe involved in the scamming.

An empoyee of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Global City was contacted immediately by one of the victims to stop the scammer from withdrawing the money just deposited. No action was taken. This inaction is outrageous! It’s time for banks to do their part in curbing identity theft, hacking, or scamming. Passing the buck to the Philippine National Police (PNP) is not good enough.

Worried about cybercrime? Send this story to your networks.

Our Guest Contributor

Photo by Brigette Grant

Dr Deborah Wall OAM is a poet, journalist, and oral historian; author of Re-imagining Australia: Voices of Indigenous Australians of Filipino descent.; recipient of the Order of Australia for her contribution to the community in the areas of social justice, multiculturalism, and reconciliation; and a foundation member of the Women’s Reconciliation Network.

Leave a Comment

Word Count: 0



Newsletter Signup