Downloaded games are a popular form of entertainment for many Filipinos. However, some of these may contain phishing malwares, according to a recent joint investigation by the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) and GCash, the country’s leading mobile wallet.
The most common red flag to look out for in downloaded gaming apps is a blatant request for private information such as credit card numbers, or passwords for social media and bank accounts. Most of the time, these gaming apps contain malwares that will trick players into clicking a phishing link. These are common in apps where players buy character upgrades or items and play-to-earn games.
“Links inside a gaming app scam can easily be distinguished because they use irregular formats like (http://gc.ashpin). Clicking on such links redirects users to obviously fraudulent websites and such actions should immediately be aborted,” advises GCash chief risk officer Ingrid Rose Ann Beroña.
For gambling apps such as e-bingo platforms, users are advised to check if the company that created them is listed on the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) website.
P/Capt. Michelle Sabino of the PNP-ACG adds, “Gamers should be wary of seemingly trustworthy persons or agencies initiating chats but soliciting personal information. Legitimate persons or institutions will never ask for such sensitive information.”
Both PNP-ACG and GCash emphasize the importance of being cautious towards emails or text messages that request for personal information. They also advise against clicking any embedded links. Regularly updating one’s mobile phone or computer software, which includes cybersecurity features, is also recommended. Users are also advised to create strong passwords for all online accounts.
Users are encouraged to report incidents of scams, fraud, and cybercrime to the PNP-ACG through its hotlines at (02) 8414-1560 or 0998-598-8116 or via email at [email protected].
To report a scam, visit the official GCash Help Center at help.gcash.com or message Gigi on the website and type “I want to report a scam.” Customers can also reach out to the official GCash hotline at 2882 for inquiries and other concerns.
For more information, visit www.gcash.com.ph.