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Scary! How I Lost My Money from Bank of Philippine Island (BPI)

It would be a nightmare for anyone to know that the money you have worked hard for have suddenly vanished due to unauthorized withdrawal from your bank account. And that nightmare was extended to me when just yesterday (June 30) at 5:00 am I received an email notification, informing me that I made a withdrawal of Php10015.00 from my BPI account at 4:50:01am, June 30, 2016.

I was alerted and shocked because my ATM card was in my possession all the time and the last time I used it was when I made a purchase from ALL HOME in Imus, Cavite. Also, I am the only one who knows the PIN of my ATM card and have never shared it since 2010. My online account is also secured.

I rushed to the BPI Dasmarinas Aguinaldo Branch to report the incident. But I was dismayed on the way they handled my case without any sense of urgency. I filed a complaint on to which I have no idea that it wasn’t only Php 10,015.00 that was withdrawn as there was another unauthorized transaction amounting to Php 5,000 that followed afterwards.

I firmly informed the customer service representative of the bank that the last transaction I made was on June 25, 2016 and I was monitoring my account through online everyday ever since.

It seems that the security feature of my ATM card was breached that somebody was able to get the cash from it.

My disappointment only grew after I was connected to BPI Intramuros Branch where I opened my account, telling me “there are cases like this happening among their bank depositors.” It was a shame that the certain EUGENE CO could only asked for me to wait and that they will investigate whether there was really an “UNAUTHORIZED WITHDRAWAL” that happened on my account. That was the time when I blew up my head, explaining to him via phone that I wouldn’t be at their BPI Dasmarinas Aguinaldo Branch if I was not alerted of the illegal transaction on my account. He then asked me to write and send them a letter  informing them that I did not make any withdrawal on that date to which I refused because what would be the sense of pulling my self so early to personally appear in one of their branches to file the unauthorized transaction. In the first place, I have already filled up a form for the complaint. I think a coconut fruit has more juice than his S-T-U-P-I-D head!

This incident only made me realized that the safety features of BPI ATM card were weak and can be easily tampered by scammers. Mr. Co asked me to wait, telling me that he will call back and he will give me feedback, only to realize that I was already waiting for 3-long hours and there was no EUGENE CO that called back.

Fely Hermoso, manager of BPI Aguinaldo Dasma told me to calm down, afraid that other depositors maybe hearing what happened on my "HACKED" account. But it was my right to be angry telling them that it was in BPI’s custody where my MONEY got lost and vanished into thin air.

There seems no point staying in the bank to wait for any positive response as what they could only do was informing me that “THEY WILL VERIFY, THEY WILL INVESTIGATE, THEY WILL ENDORSE etc.,” the incident giving me no assurance that my money will be returned as soon as possible.

I  was very angry because I just happened to be one of the depositors who have worked so hard for every centavo earned and I was a fool to entrust my hard earned money to BPI who have a very weak security feature to protect their depositor's money.

That very day, I have withdrawn all what was remained in my BPI account and transferred it to a more secured bank.

I will never forget how lame BPI acted that day without any sense of URGENCY. Their online services via 89100 and expressonline were as futile as their actual representatives giving me answers "WE WILL VERIFY, WE WILL INVESTIGATE, WE WILL ENDORSE". 

I needed my money so bad and it would be so sad in my part if that very day I was on an emergency and I have no money to dispense. This made me asked myself if I can sue BPI and make them liable in case such event happened.

I tried to call the 3 phone numbers of BPI Intramuros branch which were all working well, but nobody was answering them. As of this hour of this day, I did not receive any feedback from Eugene Co of BPI Intramuros regarding the status of my complaint.

This world is just so scary that there are no longer safe ways to protect your money. This is a lesson learned. NEVER AGAIN!

Update as of July 03, 2016

I was contacted by the BPI Intramuros manager and she was very sorry about the incident that there was no urgency made on my case by the BPI Aguinaldo Dasma Branch, not even asking me to replace the card or change the PIN. The manager mentioned that they have sent “ EMAILs” to the fraud division to investigate my complaint. I asked her to make the coordination ASAP.

I was distressed when she replied back on Friday night July 02 through email informing me of the initial findings of the investigation. It was disappointing that the only thing clear on the report were the time and location of the ATM where the unauthorized withdrawal was made. It was revealed that it was around 4:50AM in a PS Bank ATM located in SM Market Mall –Dasmarinas where the culprit have withdrawn my money. What more irritating on the report was, it made an inconclusive remark that it could be one of my family members or a person I know to which I have shared my PIN.

I was furious that I replied refuting the findings of the report telling Ms. Grazielle Santos that I live alone and I have not shared my ATM to anyone. It was recommended in the report that I trace back transactions I made prior to the incident. It means I will be doing the legwork in investigating this scam.

The next day, I went early to SM Market Mall in Dasmarinas to check the ATM of PS Bank. It was there facing away from the security camera of the mall. I reported the case to the Administration of Market Mall about the incident and filed the case to their office. Mr. Nel-Nel Mirano assisted me to connect to the customer service of PS Bank and reported the incident. The customer representative requested me to send them an email for the request to extract the recorded video at the time of the incident with conditions that I have to pay for Php 500 as fee.  I emailed them immediately but I only received a response instructing me to write a letter with my signature on it, to which I cannot process that day because I have no scanner. I think it's the BPI should do this since they are the one who must perform the investigation and not their client.

On the same day, I went to the Police Station in Dasmarinas to report the incident on unauthorized withdrawal that happened in SM Market Mall Dasmarinas. It seems it was the first time the desk officer (PO1 Uyao) have encountered such incident as he asked publicly my bank information to which I declined.  But he was persistent that he needs to know every detail as he will not entertain me if I will not divulge my information. I said it would be improper to discuss this in public revealing all my bank information that could worsen the case. I requested to talk to the investigator to report the incident properly. To make the story short, I was able to blotter my case at Dasmarinas Police by talking to the police investigator, but I am not sure what difference it can make being just recorded in their book.


Follow up will be made next week.

Follow up as of July 04, 2016

I sent an email to the customer experience of PS Bank first thing in the morning with a scanned letter (with my signature) requesting for the CCTV footage coming from the PS Bank ATM in SM Market Mall-Dasmarinas. I made sure that the BPI Intramuros Branch are in “cc” in the email, to make sure and show them that that there are no lapses of coordination in my part in this investigation. I have received anonymous text messages also whom they shared same incident, expressing their support towards me and that I should never stop on this and request for the CCTV footage to be extracted right away (thank you).

The branch manager of BPI Intramuros contacted me through text message that she received my response on their initial investigation and she said she will elevate the case to the fraud investigation.

Around 6:00 pm, I received a call from the Customer Experience Representative of PS Bank, informing me that the extracted CCTV footage is now ready for viewing in their office in Makati. I requested if I can have a copy but he replied that I needed a court order or request from the police to acquire the footage. I told him that I think the BPI representative should be coordinated first since they are doing the investigation to prove it was really an unauthorized withdrawal. At 10pm the bank manager called up again to inform me that they have already requested for the viewing of the CCTV footage and that the investigating team will write their report afterwards. She advised me that they will send the outcome of the investigation after viewing the footage.

Will make a follow up within this week for update on this. Hoping the report can be released within the week.

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