Scam alert: Phishing links posing as Gcash rewards

November 11, 2022 - 3:25 PM
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Illustration by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

An email scam that mimics a mobile wallet service was once again talked about on Facebook.

The scam is an email scheme containing supposed gift checks or rewards from GCash. Recipients of the phishing link are asked to click the link on the email to claim the supposed reward.

The header of the message bears the same logo as GCash to make it look credible.

Facebook page Surigao Account Recoverer informed the public about this email scheme. It uploaded a screenshot of how the email scam looked like last October 7.

The page administrator likened the scheme to the giveaways that PayPal, an international digital wallet service, used to send to its new members.

“Ginaya lang nila yung sa Paypal [AU]. Lakas talaga ng mga scammer na to! Be vigilant po, this is a scam. Ubos pera niyo dito pag nag log in kayo,” the post reads.

In the screenshot, the message appeared as a notification for GCash’s supposed new feature—GCash Exclusive.

The message also contains a similar reminder that legitimate emails of banks and organizations send to their clients or members.

“Never share your MPin or OTP (authentication code) with anyone. This is an automatically generated email. Please do not reply to this message,” the dubious email read.

The post continued to make rounds and receive new comments on the platform. So far, it garnered 3,000 reactions, 3,600 comments and 30,000 shares.

Filipinos in the comments section were alarmed by this email scheme. They urged others to be more discerning and verify suspicious emails first.

“We have to be extremely careful in our dealings these days. If you did not join a raffle, then do not expect to win anything. If it’s too good to be true, then it most probably is. It pays to be vigilant,” one Facebook user said.

“Huwag kasi basta basta magpapauto, dapat matuto tayong icheck muna kung legit o hindi para hindi mabiktima ng mga hacker na yan,” another online user commented.

Last April, a similar phishing link was sent to Gcash users. It alerted users that their accounts will be deactivated soon and they are asked to click the link for verification.

A blog warned the public against this email scheme, calling it a scam or a phishing email. It added that the email was sent by a fake GCash email address.

On Thursday, GCash reminded its users about verifying their accounts for safer cashless transactions.

Last October 27, the mobile wallet app also reminded its users that it does not send clickable links via text messages, email and messaging apps.

Similarities with PayPal

Meanwhile, in the comments section of Surigao Account Recover’s post, one Facebook user agreed with the similarity of the fake reward email and PayPal’s reward email.

“I use PayPal and I received their $5 giveaway before (no raffles and such, namigay lang talaga sa mga users). So if I were to receive something like this, I might believe it. Kaso ang laki naman ng 4,000. So I might also have a shadow of doubt especially na we know GCash has been used for scams. It’s so scary na talagaaaa,” the Facebook user said.

A cursory search by Interaksyon showed that PayPal has been offering rewards to its members, especially newly signed users, this year without any raffle draws or contests.

Last October, PayPal released a $5 reward to each of its members who are residing in the United States or the District of Columbia.

The deal mainly requires a PayPal account to claim the money.

PayPal also currently has a $10 referral reward for members who are able to invite new ones to the platform.

Both the newbie and the long-time member will receive the referral money.

Moreover, last April, PayPal Australia held a giveaway worth $80,000 through its gimmick called the #PayPalMoneyMonday competition.

The competition ran on each of the five Mondays in May.