Landbank says teachers lost money to phishing scam, denies system hack

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) – The Land Bank of the Philippines on Monday said its systems were not hacked and that the teachers whose bank accounts lost money fell victims to a phishing scam.

In a statement, the government-owned bank said its initial investigation found that the devices of some teachers were hacked via phishing, which compromised their personal information.

“The Bank has already reached out to the affected customers and is working on the resolution of these isolated cases at the soonest possible time,” it said.

Landbank also assured its clients that their accounts and personal information remain safe as it “maintains the highest level of security in all its systems.”

Over the weekend, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition reported that some teachers lost funds they deposited in Landbank “after these were transferred using online banking.”

The coalition’s chairperson Benjo Basa on Monday said they have received 16 complaints, with the amount lost ranging from ₱10,000 to ₱150,000.

“Kung bakit nangyari ito, meron kayong pagkukulang. Meron kayong pananagutan, ‘yun po ang sinasabi natin. At kinakailangan po talaga mabawi ito ng mga teacher,” he added. “Kami ay ninakawan, kami ay biktima, at kaya kami nanakawan dahil hindi po secured ang system na ginagamit ninyo.”

[Translation: This happened because you have a shortcoming. You are liable, that’s what we’re saying. And the teachers should be able to get their money back. We were robbed, we are victims, and the reason why we were robbed is because your systems are not secure.]

Basa also said the coalition will formally request for the Department of Education's assistance on the matter.

The Landbank has urged the public to remain vigilant against online banking fraud and not to open suspicious emails, links, or attachments, or share account and personal information.

It also has reminded customers that official Landbank representatives will never ask for sensitive financial details.