Senator Win Gatchalian urged authorities to ensure that credit card fraudsters will be prosecuted to the full extent permitted by applicable laws and that there will be no slackening in hunting down those who continue to perpetrate identity theft, credit card fraud, and other forms of cybercrime.
Gatchalian made the call following the National Bureau of Investigation’s arrest of Julius Anacin, one of the suspects in the hacking or unauthorized use of the senator’s credit card and used to purchase P1.1 million worth of liquor items through an online delivery platform on January 6 this year.
“This incident necessitates the legislation of a measure that will further strengthen the financial system and protect consumers as financial products and services become more complex,” he emphasized.
Gatchalian’s Senate Bill No. 2287 or the proposed Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act which seeks to cover more financial services and enhances the authority and strengthens collaboration among regulators to promote the welfare of consumers have already gained the support of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and some stakeholders such as the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX).
“Kailangan nating pairalin ang batas para panagutin at hindi na pamarisan ang mga ganitong iligal na gawain. Hindi ito simpleng libangan dahil alam ng mga kawatan na may mga nilalabag silang batas. Higit sa perang ninanakaw nila, sensitibo ang lahat ng mga impormasyong makukuha sa mga biktima,” Gatchalian said.
The lawmaker immediately extended his commendation to the NBI for unmasking the technologically-savvy and financially-motivated hackers, adding that the agency should also be more vigilant to help other victims of similar crimes.
“I’d like to thank the NBI for a job well-done. The NBI has proven itself to be a reliable entity in law enforcement and can keep up with the technological innovations of hackers who obviously find potential goldmines in their fraudulent schemes,” said Gatchalian, Vice Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs.
“Dati-rati hindi ka basta makakabili o makakapagpa-deliver ng kung anu-anong produkto na aabot sa daang libo o milyong piso. Pero dahil sa mga nagsulputang makabagong pamamaraan ng transaksyon, isang click lang gamit ang smartphone o computer ay maisasagawa na ito sa loob lamang ng ilang minuto. At may ilang mapagsamantala na gagawin ang lahat makapanlamang lamang sa kapwa,” he added.
Cybercrime and identity theft may have been found to be an increasingly lucrative and profitable “business” by hackers and fraudsters. However, the adage that crime doesn’t pay will no longer be appropriate to them soon, especially to Anacin and his cohorts, Gatchalian said.