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PNP ACG ADVISORY: Be Safe During this Yuletide Season

Philippine National Police shares timely tips as the holidays are fast approaching. Everyone is busy attending Christmas parties and buying gifts for their loved ones. During this time of festivities, we usually see increase in activities especially in the use of ATMs, online shopping, use of credit and debit cards as well as online banking.

Thus, we encourage everyone to undertake the following safety measures to avoid becoming victims:

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1. Be careful when using your ATM cards.
a. Keep your eyes open. If you’re looking at an ATM and its PIN pad looks a bit loose, or see scratches or sticky residue, be wary as scammers will often attach false fronts to the ATM with tape.

b. Cover the PIN pad with your hand.  If there is a skimming device on the card reader, there will usually be a pinhole camera mounted underneath the top of the ATM.  As the card reader captures the account information, the pinhole cameras record the customers’ PIN.

c. When in doubt, don’t use the ATM. The only way to prevent your ATM card from being skimmed is to recognize that the machine has been tampered with. Best to just walk away from it. If it cannot be avoided immediately change your pin using a secure ATM, preferably one attached to a bank branch.

2. Always protect your user name and password.

3. When shopping online, only purchase from trusted websites


4. Beware of phishing emails or text messages that are asking you for money, your user name or password. Avoid clicking on links in emails that you receive.

5. When banking with the use of online facilities.

a. Access your accounts from a secure location.  It is always good practice to access your accounts using computers and networks you know and trust.  However, when the need to access accounts from remote locations arise, check the address bar on your browser – the URL of the site you are on should begin with “https”.  This acts as confirmation that you are accessing your account using a secure connection.

b. Always logout when you are done. Logging out of your online banking session when you are finished lessens the chances of you falling prey to session exploits by cybercriminals.

6. When using your credit card, always be aware of where your credit card is to avoid skimming.

7. Make sure that you have up-to-date anti-virus software.

8. Only use legitimate and properly licensed software. Pirated software has been known to have malware.

This advisory was the product of discussions of the PNP-ACG Advisory Council. We hope that you take the necessary precautions to protect your yourselves. Should you need assistance,  the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group, are ready to assist. You can reach PNP ACG through telephone number 414-1560 and email address acg@pnp.gov.ph


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