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Republic of the Philippines
National Police Commission
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
ANTI-CYBERCRIME GROUP
Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ACG-CYBER SECURITY BULLETIN NR 251: STAY SAFE IN DIGITAL WALLET TRANSACTION

Reference Number ACG-CSB 060322251

         The following information was obtained from different cyber security sources for notification to all parties concerned pursuant to the mandate of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) and classified as Restricted pursuant to the PNP Regulation 200-012 on Document Security and Impact Rating as high based on PNP Information Communication Technology (ICT) Security Manual s.2010-01 p. 22 and p.129.

SUMMARY

    A digital wallet refers to software, an electronic device, or an online service that enables individuals or businesses to make transactions electronically. It stores the payment information of users for different payment modes on various websites, along with other items such as gift coupons and driver’s licenses. A digital wallet is also known as an e-wallet.

    Digital wallet traditionally carried in the form of a smartphone app, a digital wallet can also exist in other forms, such as a desktop. However, the mobile app is the most popular version of the digital wallet, owing to its mobility and flexibility. It eliminates the need for physical banks and companies to open and maintain a bank account. Hence, they also connect individuals and businesses in rural areas.

    Digital wallets allow users to transfer funds to friends and family residing in different nations. It also stores all the payment information of users in a compact form. Thus, it greatly reduces the need to carry physical wallets. Digital wallets are not new at all. PayPal has been around for over two decades. Since then, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay have become household names.

    Enabling digital wallet payments is an easy choice for merchants looking to make online shopping easier and more rewarding. But let’s not forget new payment options mean new avenues for fraudsters. Perhaps one of the biggest risks with a digital wallet is the personal liability in the event of fraud. Most consumers who use debit or credit cards to pay for purchases have a level of protection from their bank or credit card company. Most do not hold cardholders liable for fraudulent purchases on their credit cards.

    Fraudsters will always look for ways to take advantage of e-wallets. Fraudsters take over e-wallet accounts mainly because of the valuable user information they contain. This data can usually fetch a high price when resold on the dark web. Also, given that their contents are so valuable, e-wallet accounts can serve as a gateway to other malicious activity such as money laundering and identity theft.  

   Fake e-wallets are designed to look identical to real ones. They’re usually uploaded on app stores with helpful reviews and pictures to lure users into thinking they’re legitimate. But unlike real e-wallets, fake ones often contain malware. Once installed, fraudsters could use fake e-wallets to carry out a wide range of malicious activities, such as stealing login information or conducting spam attacks.

    E-wallets are an attractive target for fraudsters. As gateways to fiat currency, malicious actors will use all and any fraudulent techniques to compromise user accounts and steal funds. Referral and rebate programs are commonly targeted, with users and merchants often working together to exploit them. In such a competitive industry, e-wallets must focus acquiring and rewarding valuable users, not fraudsters.

 RECOMMENDATION

            All PNP personnel as well as the public are advised to follow these tips to stay safe in digital transactions and avoid being a victim of cybercrime:

  • Turn on and monitor transaction notifications;
  • Do not reuse passwords and avoid sharing it;
  • Turn on two-factor authentication;
  • Establish Protocols to Check Website Security;
  • Verify your payment recipient;
  • Be cautious with linked checking accounts;
  • Submit minimal personal information;
  • Double-check QR codes; and
  • Establish a Separate Financial Data Workstation.

For additional information, please refer to the following websites:

POINT OF CONTACT

 Please contact PMAJ JUN-JUN S DAGURO, Police Community Relations Officer thru e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us on telephone number (632) 8723-0401 local 7483 for any inquiries related to this CYBER SECURITY BULLETIN.