Gov’t salaries are being stolen via ATM accounts PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 November 2017 14:22

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Do not trust in extortion or put vain hope in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them…” (Psalm 62:10, the Holy Bible).

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GOV’T SALARIES ARE BEING STOLEN VIA ATM ACCOUNTS: Many government officials and employees are getting scared with the way they are being paid their wages and other emoluments, which is through withdrawals from automated teller machines (ATM) operated by government banks. The reason? The money they are supposed to receive as their salaries, or their bonuses for this Christmas, are being stolen.

It is clear now that no matter what assurances government banks are giving, stealing money deposited in ATM accounts has remained a relatively easy heist to carry out. According to those who came to me to complain about this, stealing money from ATM accounts has even become a widespread scam, especially so since it is through these accounts that bonuses are also distributed by the government regularly.

What is more burdensome is that, even if the theft of money belonging to government employees is reported seasonably by them, government banks are incapable of providing any immediate relief or refund. Affected government functionaries have to wait for around one whole month just so they can receive refunds, if any refund is agreed to be given at all by the banks.

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AVOID TRANSACTING WITH BANKS? The unmitigated stealing or theft of salaries and bonuses of government employees through ATM or through what is known as “computerized banking” is a long-festering problem. In fact, just a few months back, a bank which takes pride in having been here in the Philippines since the time of the Spaniards, was hit by a debilitating glitch which affected their ATM depositors.

Then, we also often hear of complaints involving the use of credit cards by persons other than the owners of those cards, which are also being used as ATM cards, to pay for high-end purchases which the card owners did not make. In most of these incidents, the ATM credit cards are said to have been used for purchases allegedly made abroad.

Government employees who are ATM card holders have asked me as to what they should do to avoid being victimized all over again by this scam. I told them not to deal with any bank anymore, not only over ATM or other computerized services. In short, my advice was, do not deposit your money in the bank, instead find a creative way to hide or use it right away.

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ATM BANKING SCAM, WHY IS NO ONE BEING HELD LIABLE? The biggest issue with this kind of a banking scam is the clear inability of the banks to identity who the thieves are. Is it not a fact that there has been a lot of news reports about this in the country for quite some time now, yet no one is reported to have been taken to task and held liable for them?

I wish to ask now: where can we hide our money if not with the banks? As I see it, there is a need for us to immediately withdraw and spend right away the money that are being paid to us as salaries or bonuses through the ATM system. We should hurry to buy things which are needed in our residences or in our offices. As someone who was victimized on Friday, November 24, 2017, the bank told her the same thing—withdraw her money that was deposited in her ATM right away.

Then, perhaps, we should also already learn how to use whatever money we are earning on businesses, no matter how small or insignificant those businesses may appear to be. For it is through engaging even in a small business enterprise that we can make our money earn more. However, before diving into any venture, we must learn to humble ourselves before God and ask for His guidance, blessing, and protection.

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