GCash: ‘Deliberate phishing attempts’ outside of app caused suspicious cash transfers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 15) – After reports of suspicious cash transfers surfaced last week, GCash on Monday reported that the incident was caused by “deliberate phishing attempts” done outside of the app after users shared their information with suspicious websites.

“GCash swiftly corrected the e-wallet balances of the 1,427 affected users immediately within 24 hours. This was done while ensuring all its 81 million users are protected,” the service said Monday.

On May 8, hundreds of users took to social media after they reportedly saw deductions in their accounts, and sums of money transferred to other bank accounts without their permission.

READ: GCash: No funds lost despite system glitch

As a result, the application implemented a downtime for several hours for preventive maintenance.

“Upon detection of unusual transactions, GCash activated security protocols and deployed its preventive security measures. This swift action enabled us to mitigate the impact on our customers,” it added.

The e-wallet service then reminded its users to be wary of suspicious links and websites which mimic legitimate financial institutions, online shopping sites and online gaming platforms, as these could be avenues for phishing attacks.

Because of the incident, the National Privacy Commission and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center both vowed to conduct investigations.

A House resolution was similarly filed to initiate a probe into the cash transfer incident.

Meanwhile, a few days later on May 13, netizens again vented their frustration at the e-wallet app after it suffered another downtime -- this time lasting over nine hours.