WebClick Tracer

November 28, 2023

GCash backs urgent passage of legislation against scammers

In line with its thrust of building the safest platform for its users, GCash is expressing its full support for the urgent passage of a proposed law that will give a big boost to the fight against scammers and fraudsters.

“As we place utmost priority on trust and security, we believe that House Bill 7393, or the ‘Anti- Financial Scamming Act’ and Senate Bill 2039, or the ‘Anti-Mule and Financial Fraud Act of 2023’ will greatly help deter financial cybercrimes in the country,” said Ren-Ren Reyes, president and CEO of G-Xchange, Inc., the mobile wallet operator of GCash.

The proposed legislation will primarily punish cybercriminals and their accomplices such as the so-called money mules who are used by scammers to receive stolen or illicit money and obscure the source of funds while keeping the criminals’ identity secret.

While some money mules are aware that what they’re doing is illegal, others are more unwitting.

“If urgently passed and implemented, the measures penalizing money mules and scammers can further accelerate the country’s digitalization and financial inclusion agenda,” noted Reyes. GCash has been proactively blocking suspicious accounts to keep these bad actors from victimizing customers. In fact, from January 2022 to June 2023, GCash has already barred 4 million accounts from accessing the platform for fraud.

The leading e-wallet is also in close coordination with the Philippine National Police Anti- Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG), the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), to ensure scammers and fraudsters are stopped in their tracks.

House Bill 7393, once passed, will penalize any person who acts as a money mule or performs social engineering schemes. When done by a group of three or more persons, perpetrators will also face charges of economic sabotage.

As for Senate Bill 2039, it expressly prohibits phishing and account takeovers – two of the most common schemes that criminals use to steal money from unsuspecting users.

Both proposed measures define money mules as persons who sell, buy, or lend e-wallets or other financial accounts, including those who register for such accounts using fake names or stolen identity to commit a crime. Other bills in the Senate aimed at beefing up the fight against fraudsters and scammers are SB 336, SB 2171, SB 2306, and SB 2407. “We look forward to collaborating with our legislators and other stakeholders for the protection of the Filipino people against evolving threats in this increasingly more digital world,” emphasized Reyes.