‘Safe and secure’: GCash assures users amid unauthorized transaction complaints

May 9, 2023 - 12:04 PM
GCash is a mobile wallet service by Globe Telecom

A representative of a popular mobile wallet app assured users that “there is no fund loss” after several Filipinos reported having unauthorized transactions on their respective accounts since Monday, May 8.

A GCash official said that they have been investigating the incident since yesterday following the complaints received from the users.

“There is no fund loss at doon po sa ating mga na-inconvenience, ito pong amount na ito ay mare-reflect doon sa kanilang account,” Gilda Maquilan, GCash vice president for corporate communications, told DZMM Teleradyo on Tuesday.

The “amount” she referred to pertained to the amount that users reported were involved in unauthorized transactions.

Maquilan also said that users should expect the fee to reflect back on their accounts by the afternoon.

“Unfortunately, ‘yung ating system maintanance po is taking more than usual, pero confident po kami na by 3 p.m. today, makukuha na po nila ‘yung kanilang funds at maa-acess na po natin ang GCash,” Maquilan said.

When asked about the system being “hacked,” the e-wallet firm’s exec said that they could not say at that point.

“Kailangan mag-investigate kaya nagka-maintanance,” the GCash official added.

“Kung ano po ‘yung preventive maintance na puwede nating gawin ngayon to ensure na ‘yung funds ng ating customers ay maibabalik, ay gagawin po namin ‘yan,” Maquilan continued.

She added that they are also coordinating with AUB [Asia United Bank] and EastWest Bank so they could come up with an “immediate resolution and findings” on what had transpired.

“We would like to assure everyone that there is no fund loss at ngayon din po, aayusin din po namin ‘yan,” Maquilan said.

“Ngayon po, we are working double time, bigyan lang po kami hanggang 3 p.m. today,” she continued.

Claims of ‘hacking’ 

Since Monday, social media posts have claimed that some users’ accounts in the mobile wallet had unauthorized transactions.

Some claimed that the amount was transferred to an EastWest bank account ending with the number 5239.

Others reported that it was transferred to an Asia United Bank account ending with the number 3009.

Users complained that the transactions happened without them receiving an SMS OTP (one-time pin) or a message notifying them that the action happened, unlike in usual transactions.

Comedian-vlogger Chad Kinis was among those who shared his experience.

“Omg!!!! My GCash just got hacked!!!!! Inubos ang pera ko! Wala man lang alert or OTP na lumabas sa number ko from GCash na it was logged in sa ibang account! Help GCash, paano nila nagawa ‘yun eh [super] secured ang GCash ko,” he wrote in a now-viral Facebook post.

Another Facebook user claimed that she lost P70,000 from her mobile wallet account.

“Unauthorized transactions happened in my account, [nawala] 70k ko. Ay, [hindi] joke, pinaghirapan [namin] ‘yung pera na inubos mo lahat ‘yung laman, GCash,” she said, attaching screengrabs of her account.

“Ang [malala] pa, dami ko nabasa na same bank lang [a]ng [pinag-sendan] at same ng number sa dulo,” she added.

Another Filipino also claimed to experienced unauthorized transactions on the mobile wallet.

“No OTP, no email confirmation, no notification, no help from GCash. All they can say is ‘Coordinate with the bank,'” he added.

“Never did I ever think na maha-hack or mananakawan ako sa GCash kasi sobrang maingat ako sa mga scams [or] links. Speaking of links, never ako nag-click ng links or phishing emails [or] SMS,” the Facebook user continued.

A Filipino from Twitter also claimed that a friend experienced a similar incident, sharing a screengrab of the supposed unauthorized transaction.

A Japanese restaurant also claimed it was recently a victim of “hacking” on GCash.

“At madami pang ibang kakilala na na-hack din. Mag-ingat po ang lahat,” Chefie’s Special said on a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the mobile wallet app posted an advisory about the issue on its social media account.

“We assure you that an adjustment in their balance will be made within the day, and that funds will remain safe and secure with GCash,” it said.

In a separate advisory, GCash said that it has “restored” its services following the maintenance.

“We apologize for the temporary downtime. Rest assured that your funds are safe. We recommend restarting your phone to avoid any issues. Thank you for your patience and understanding,” it added.