In the first half of 2020, online crimes have escalated dramatically since the COVID-19 outbreak, as per the World Health Organization’s (WHO) findings.

“The number of cyberattacks is now more than five times the number directed at the Organization in the same period last year,” reported WHO.

Likewise, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) cautioned the public that hackers are reaping benefits from the pandemic due to the digital environment being more prone to exploitation.

FBI analyzed cybercriminals will “target businesses and individuals working from home via telework software vulnerabilities, education technology platforms, and new Business Email Compromise schemes.”

The Philippines is no exception to such vulnerabilities, with cybersecurity groups and organizations have been issuing warnings that cybercriminals could exploit internet-connected systems while people are working from home, as well as gaining access to personal identity.

Just recently, scammers targeted the public’s sensitive bank account information by impersonating Bank of the Philippine Islands through emails.

BDO to banking public: 'Be smarter than a scammer' - Daily Guardian

BDO clients also faced phishing attempts where scammers sent emails with malicious links directing to fake BDO online banking portal.

These compelled telecommunication sectors, such as Smart/PLDT, to repeatedly advise users always to be wary when dealing with emails that contain links.

Globe had provided a spam and scam report tool for users who had encountered such suspicious activities found on their official website.

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