The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines warned the public against phishing scams involving the impersonation of the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila.
According to the CBCP Secretariat, the scammers would impersonate Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, using an e-mail.
Msgr. Bernardo Pantin, CBCP Secretary General, said the scam targets those using Yahoo Mail by asking them to enter their login details to receive a “confidential message.”
“It is a phishing attempt to get their (yahoo mail) account details,” Msgr. Pantin said in a letter to dioceses.
To avoid being victimized by phishing scams, the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Council have repeatedly advised the public not to reply to suspicious e-mails.
The authorities also urged people not to click any link in a suspicious message, and not to give personal and financial information requested through e-email.
A report by the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky last month said the Philippines was the most hit by phishing attacks last year in Southeast Asia, although to a lesser degree than in 2020.
In a statement, Kaspersky said the number of Filipinos exposed to phishing attempts reached 9.9 percent last year, beating Malaysia (8.49 percent), Thailand (7.93 percent), Indonesia (7.70 percent), Vietnam (7.45 percent) and Singapore (3.30 percent).
The 2021 level, however, was a marked decline from 16.05 percent a year earlier.
Phishing is a fraudulent activity where scammers trick users into giving out their personal and sensitive information prompted by suspicious emails, mobile messages and links.
Having access to such data will allow scammers to take over or use without permission victims’ bank accounts.