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According to the initial investigation by Landbank, the devices of the teachers were hacked via phishing, which compromised their personal information. File photo Image Credit: Bloomberg


  • Unspecified number of Filipino teachers reportedly fell to a hacking attack known as “phishing”.
  • Amount lost reportedly ranged from $500 to $2,500.
  • Spike in online hacking attacks reported amid rise in digital transactions.

Manila: An investigation is on after bank accounts of Filipino teachers were reportedly hacked by a still unknown group, the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Monday (January 24, 2022).

State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (also known as Landbank) said the Filipino teachers whose bank accounts were hacked lost money via “phishing”.

The bank, however, said its system is safe. It was not immediately clear how many teachers were hit by the latest online heist.

“According to the initial investigation by Landbank, the devices of the teachers were hacked via phishing, which compromised their personal information,” the bank said in a statement.

“The bank has already reached out to the affected customers and is working on the resolution of these isolated cases at the soonest possible time,” it added.

The state-owned Landbank is the official depository bank of the Philippine government.

The teachers are the latest victims of rising online scams in the country. The Philippine central bank (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) reported a 2,324% spike in hacking, malware attacks during COVID months.

On Friday (January 22), Philippine authorities have arrested five people — 3 Filipinos and 2 African nationals — in connection with an online heist which also used “phishing” hacks that reportedly compromised hundreds of accounts with BDO Unibank, the Philippines’ biggest lender.

NBI said the suspects failed to cash in the money. 

Information about the hacking of Filipino teachers’ bank accounts came after the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition reported it. On Monday, the Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd) stated they are “validating” the reports from its members.

Some teachers reportedly lost between P26,000 (about $506) and (P121,000 (about $2,000) after their Landbank accounts were hit.

What is a phishing attack?
“Phishing” attacks are common, and part of “social engineering attack” technique used by online scammers. In many cases, phishing emails are innocuous and do not look suspicious. But therein the danger lies.

It usually starts with an email that seems legitimate (with subject lines like “Suspicious transaction report, pls update your account” or “Change your password to prevent hackers”). While they appear to have been sent by the bank, clicking is fraught with danger as it redirects the unsuspecting clients to a fake website that looks like the bank’s real site.

In effect, the unsuspecting clients gives away their account details to the tech-savvy scammers. It does not mean a bank’s online system had been penetrated by the hackers.

Vigilance urged

The banks urged members to be vigilant against “phishing” and other online banking fraud.

“Landbank reminds its customers to refrain from opening suspicious emails, links and attachments, and sharing your account and personal information. Official Landbank representatives will never ask for the critical financial information of customers.”

Landbank said customers’ accounts and personal information were protected and it keeps “the highest level of security in all its systems”.