Converge, Unionbank fight off online frauds

File photo.

September 15, 2022

Fiber broadband internet provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Union Bank of the Philippines to jointly crack the whip on the proliferating online fraud and financial cybercrimes.

The MOU, signed last week, formalized the partnership between Converge and UnionBank, which have been collaborating to block content and URLs of fraudulent activity since the start of the year.

“Based on available data, we have seen a spike in financial fraud which makes banking the second highest industry affected by cybercrime. We now average over 4.1 million requests to block fraudulent URLs in our network. This makes our partnership today urgent and timely,” Converge Chief Network Transformation Officer Paulo Martin G. Santos said.

The partnership is a response to Advisory Opinion 2021-026 issued by the National Privacy Commission allowing for the sharing of relevant data for purposes of fraud investigations. Sources from both firms said it is a proactive response designed to address the rising number of phishing and cybercrime cases.

“The pandemic kickstarted the growth of our digital channels, particularly at Unionbank. Just like any other channel, even in the physical world, whenever there is money there, criminals will follow,” Joey Rufo, Chief Information Security Officer and Data Protection Officer at UnionBank.

“These cyber criminals saw that opportunity to take advantage of Filipinos who are digital migrants, first time to use digital services and are not familiar with the concept of phishing, scams, text, spam, and the like. The Bankers Association of the Philippines, in its 2021 report said P1 billion was lost due to such fraudulent attacks by cybercriminals,” Rufo added.

Converge and UnionBank, along with other telcos along with the Bankers Association of the Philippines are now poised to join forces to create a framework that would allow them to share information in an effort to effectively combat financial cybercrime.

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