This is not a beauty/makeup-related post.
This is actually a warning to all credit card users in the Philippines. Yesterday, my mom almost became a victim of this scam. Good thing that she was able to see some signs that the transaction she was supposed to make was not right.
I was hesitant to blog about this because this is not a subject I usually post about, but I realized that through this blog post, I can spread the knowledge about this modus and help spread awareness about the existence of these people who can do such disgusting deeds. It can also act as a form of security for us, because the people behind this scam are aware of our address. At least now, our situation is out there. I will still try and ask my mom what we should do about this...
Anyway, let me tell you what happened yesterday afternoon.
Someone texted my mother, under the name DESMOND DY, and that he is a representative of Citibank and that he is offering to increase the limit of her cards and also add promos and gift certificates. She called my mom after she replied. He knew about her Citibank card numbers in both Cash Back Card and Mastercard so my mom thought that he was a legitimate employee of Citibank, so she entertained the call. My mom liked and agreed to take the offer of a new credit card with a higher limit. So this Desmond Dy said that he will send a courier person within the day to give her some papers to sign as well as to assist her in cutting her current cards since she would not be using them anymore. My mom told him that she wasn't home and that she was in UST, but this Desmond guy insisted that they can go to her clinic to do the "deal."
When the courier guy got there, he handed out the papers and asked for the cards. She first gave the Mastercard. He cut the card lengthwise... different from how we know the cards are usually cut. According to my mom, the courier cut the card lengthwise, not destroying the number, the black magnetic stripe, nor the microchip. He was able to cut the Mastercard but when he asked for the other card, my mom can't find it in her wallet. She got worried that she might have lost it at the mall and so she called Citibank to ask if there were transactions made. While my mom was calling the Citibank hotline, the courier suddenly told my mom that he needed to use the restroom. So she got her secretary to give him directions to the restroom. While he was gone, my mom received a text from Desmond saying, "SA CITI SIYA TUMAWAG" (Sorry, I wasn't able to get a screen shot of the text last night). That's when my mom got suspicious. Obviously, he sent the message to her by mistake. The man did not come back to my mom's clinic but he did try to text her if she still has the envelopes and cut card. See the message below.
When we got back home, my mom told my brother and I the story and we checked the papers that were given to her. The paper they used was an ordinary bond paper, the logo was incorrect (the image was stretched), the Mastercard logo was blurred, our zipcode was wrong, there were many grammar mistakes, and I don't think there's such a thing as a platinum account manager (correct me if I am wrong though). The envelope they used was also incorrect in terms of the logo. In short, everything was obviously fake. Too bad my mom was not aware about these things. Plus, whenever we get promos and news from banks, we do not get random cellphone numbers anymore, instead, the name of the bank is shown immediately such as BDO, BPI, EASTWEST, CITIBANK, etc.
I googled if there were similar cases and I was able to find some. Click the links to go to the posts.
It seems like they've been doing this for more than a year. These scammers use the same letter content, and just edit the bank details, logos, and the name of the representative. They still even use the same contact details! My theory in what they could have done if my mom fell for their scam is that they would either duplicate the cards since they didn't destroy the important parts or they will request for a new card under my mom's name and get the new ones delivered to their place and they'll use the new ones since it does not have her signature yet.
We feel that they got someone inside a company where we use cards for payment. Our situation is tricky since they knew about two cards. My first guess was that their inside person works for Globe. We pay our Globe bills online but we never use the Visa card (yes, my mom has a Citibank Visa too) and that is probably why they don't know about it. It also explains why they knew about our address and contact details.
Good thing mommy called Citibank immediately after we concluded that everything was a scam. All our cards, including the Visa card are now cut. Better safe than sorry!
Now I want to report this incident because I really want these disgusting people punished! I'll have to check what we can do about this... If you have some suggestions, please tell me. I don't want other people falling for their tricks!