Today, I have received a phishing email informing me that my Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) bank account was suspended and blocked. You can see the sample email message below.
DBP Alert Message -####-
“ACCOUNT SUSPENDED & BLOCKED”
We regret to inform our customers and the general public that we encountered an unexpected shutdown today
resulting in loss of data and financial records. You are hereby required to immediately restore and
reactivate your account/card below as inactive accounts will be terminated till further notice.
Activate Account : http://dbponline-s3.com/dbp.
Development Bank of the Philippines.
The first thing came up to my mind when I saw this mail in my GMail inbox is that it is a phishing email. Maybe you’re asking how could I decide and judge it so fast to say it is a phishing email. Here’s the reasons.
1. First of all, I don’t have a DBP bank account so how can they know my email. I don’t have any connections with them through bank account or any financial information that I given to them.
2. When I checked the URL (http://dbponline-s3.com/dbp.ph/dbp.megalink.htm), it doesn’t have any pages, buttons, or link to the homepage of DBP. I also go to the real online banking page of DBP and it doesn’t say any urgent account activation requirements or whatsoever.
3. The email doesn’t address me in my complete or first name. Normally, a phishing email uses a general name like “Dear Customer” or “Dear Client.” So from there, I got another evidence that this is a fake email from scams.
4. If the bank loss their financial data, they should have a backup and I think will not require their customers to give them their bank information over the Internet. I believe no bank or any financial institution will request for your financial data through email. The proper way I think is by going directly in person to your branch.
5. The concluding part of the email is general, not from specific person. I think if it is true email from DBP, it should be from a Department head of online banking or a known person from the bank.
6. The email is requesting to give them my financial and bank information through the Internet which is a very common way of how phishing email works.
As a caution to all Internet banking users, don’t believe easily to what you see and read especially in emails because there are lot of scams and online criminals out there. Before you give your bank and financial data, you should check it out first whether it is true or not. You may also call your bank to verify it. Don’t give your information over the Internet! It is a NO-No!