BSP warns public vs spurious bank

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday warned the public not to do business with Global Investment Bank or GIB Philippines Bank Ltd. (GIB or GPBL), which has not been authorized to operate as a bank in the Philippines.

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In a statement, the central bank said GIB/GBPL is engaged in unauthorized banking activities.

“In its website [http://www.gibank.net], GIB/GPBL misrepresents itself to the public as a licensed bank in the Philippines, authorized to carry out banking transactions for international activities,” the BSP explained.

GIB/GPBL has no Certificate of Authority to operate as a bank in the Philippines and is not licensed to accept deposits, the central bank emphasized.

“In view of this, the BSP strongly advises the public not to transact with GIB/GPBL,” it added.

The central bank also warned the public against fraudsters who mislead potential victims by providing a link on their website to a spoofed or fake BSP website created purposely to deceive and make it appear that it is listed as a BSP-supervised entity.

To make sure that the correct website is accessed, the URL should be directly entered into the web browser instead of clicking links from unknown sources, it said.

The BSP reminded the public to remain vigilant and cautious in handling online financial transactions which should only be done on a secure, trusted and verified website.

“A website is ‘secure’ if there is an ‘https’ in the URL and a closed padlock icon on the status or address bar of the browser,” it said.

The central bank also pointed out that it is prudent to avoid doing online financial transactions from internet cafés or public computer terminals.

This will minimize the risk that sensitive information such as usernames and passwords are retained in the said terminals and eventually end up being used to conduct unauthorized transactions on behalf of the legitimate user, it said.

The BSP advised everyone to avoid opening—and to immediately delete—unsolicited messages or spam or junk e-mails to avoid falling prey to the scammers.

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