Hackers have hit a big-time victim, using Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian’s credit card to book a whopping P1-million worth of orders via foodpanda on Tuesday, as he was busy presiding over a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy.
Gatchalian himself bared the details of the case and said he only noticed something amiss late Tuesday.
“I only noticed it yesterday [January 5], about 6 p.m. So the whole day they were hacking my credit card,” the lawmaker said in an interview last Wednesday.
The Senator said he was aghast that so much had been ordered in his name.
“This can feed an entire barangay,” adds Gatchalian, who said that while he is used to ordering online especially during the pandemic, “malaki na ang P2,000 [P2,000 worth of transactions is usually the maximum].”
Gatchalian, meanwhile, warned the public to be very alert as scammers abound amid the lockdowns forced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are in pandemic and many people use online transactions, so these hackers are very active,” he said.
In a radio interview, he credited his bank, Union Bank, with acting “quickly and they sent me screen shots of the transactions and asked me if these were mine.”
When the senator disowned them, the bank “right away suspended the card,” he said, partly in Filipino.
Gatchalian said he is filing a police report so the matter can be investigated by cybercrime experts.
Asked if he would initiate a Senate hearing on the rash of online scams in a pandemic, Gatchalian said he might do so, if only to ensure that “other people don’t get victimized” similarly.
“Obviously, I will not pay for this. In most cases like this, it’s the bank that must absorb” the losses from the fraudulent transactions, Gatchalian said, adding he understands “they have insurance” for financial mishaps like these.