EXECUTIVES of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) and Globe Telecom Inc. (PSE: GLO) signed a memorandum of agreement to “work together against online fraud,” the latter firm announced recently.
Under the agreement, the two entities will have a “direct and round-the-clock communication channel to report any fraudulent activities for immediate investigation and blocking.”
The initiative aims to address the increasing volume and complexity of financial crimes, identity theft, phishing, SMS spam, and other similar scams and other forms of fraud.
“Our collaboration with RCBC will enable us to take proactive measures to prevent spam and scams from occurring and strengthen our capabilities to investigate and respond to such incidents. Our commitment to fighting fraud remains strong, and we will continue to work with other institutions and stakeholders to protect our customers from fraudulent activities,” said GLO Chief Privacy Officer Irish Salandanan-Almeida.
With the partnership, GLO and RCBC will be able to enhance their capabilities to investigate and respond to incidents related to financial scams and fraud, as well as develop proactive measures to prevent further incidents and their escalation.
RCBC, to note, is still wrestling with its link to the so-called Bangladesh Bank cyber-heist.
It was in 2016 when a cross-border electronic heist made headlines, as hackers were able to steal $81 million of Bangladesh Bank’s funds, funds that were deposited in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The stolen money eventually found its way into the Philippines through accounts in RCBC, where much of it was withdrawn and disappeared into the country’s casino sector.
In mid-2016, following investigation and processing of the issue, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) sanctioned RCBC with P1 billion in fines—the largest amount ever to be imposed as a fine for a banking institution in the Philippines.
In January, the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the first instance trial court, affirmed that it has jurisdiction over the case filed by the Bangladesh Bank against RCBC and its current and previous employees.
GLO said it expects the recently-signed agreement with RCBC “to promote a more integrated and collaborative approach to information and intelligence sharing and incident reporting.”
“Our partnership with [GLO] is aligned with our advocacy to educate the public about cybersecurity and is a major step towards enhancing our capabilities in fraud detection and prevention, and customer protection. Having direct coordination will boost our efforts against fraud. We look forward to working together to keep accounts safe and mitigate other cybersecurity threats,” said RCBC Chief Information Security Officer Carlos Tengkiat.
SMS-based and online fraud have been rampant over the last few months, with GLO saying it has blocke 85 million bank-related spam and scam messages from January 2022 to January 2023. This is part of the record high of 3 billion scam and spam messages filtered out within the same period, the telecommunications firm added.