Undas scams: Online scams during holidays | Inquirer Technology

The online scams you should avoid during Undas

10:57 AM November 02, 2023

All Saints Day and All Souls Day, collectively known as Undas, are times to remember those who have departed. However, we must be wary of online scams haunting our phones and computers. The Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center’s executive director, Alexander Ramos, warns scammers are usually active when people are away during holidays.

The Philippines and other countries have been boosting cybersecurity measures in response to growing tech trends like artificial intelligence. However, the public must also do its part by identifying, avoiding, and reporting suspicious online activity. We can begin taking responsibility by learning more about these schemes.

This article will discuss the most common Undas scams, such as fake customer service messages and tech support scams. Later, I will explain how to report these fraudulent activities.


The 7 most common Undas scams

  1. Open and unsecured Wi-Fi networks
  2. Fake e-wallets and customer service scams
  3. Tech support scams
  4. Phishing
  5. Fake online shopping stores
  6. Package scams
  7. Dugo-Dugo gangs

1. Open and unsecured Wi-Fi networks

Unsafe Open Wi-Fi Network Icon

Free Wi-Fi networks with no passwords attract many to connect. However, they could endanger you as they enable hackers to control your device and steal your personal information. 


CICC executive director Ramos says gadgets are susceptible to Man-in-the-Middle (MTM) attacks via open wireless networks. “An attacker will intercept the communication flow between your handsets and browser and steal information and potentially allow your device to be hijacked,” he said.

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The cybersecurity agency advises Filipinos to avoid public Wi-Fi and use mobile networks instead. “People enjoy accessing these open Wi-Fi because they are free without realizing that their open and unsecured nature also makes them vulnerable to attackers,” the director explained.

2. Fake e-wallets and customer service scams

Beware of Fake E-wallets and Customer Service Scams

Undas scams may involve fake e-wallet apps that mimic popular digital wallets like PayMaya and GCash. However, scammers use them to trick people into sharing their login credentials and steal their money.

You may also encounter fake customer service contact details. These fake phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts typically pretend to work for banks and e-wallet companies. 

“These fake customer service channels will target your personal information and money. Always check the source of the channel to see if it’s legitimate or not,” Ramos said. “Scammers can access your real e-wallet credentials if you download and install a fake e-wallet app.”


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“The public must download e-wallet from legitimate app stores,” he added. Download apps from Google Play and App Store, not from other websites, especially those that ask you to download and open suspicious programs.

3. Tech support scams

Tech Support Scam Warning

Another Undas scam may scare you by sending an alert regarding your online banking, eCommerce, or e-wallet account. These tech support schemes usually request your personal information to fix the issue.

“Ignore calls from numbers you don’t know involving scammers calling you and claiming to be from your e-wallet provider. The scammers will claim that there is a problem with your account and that they need your personal information to fix the problem.” the CICC executive director said.

“However, the scammers will simply steal your personal information and money,” he added. Most banks and companies remind customers that they will never ask for your personal information, so official personnel will never do so.

4. Phishing scams

Phishing Email Alert

The US government defines phishing as “a cyberattack that uses deception to trick people into giving away sensitive information or taking actions that compromise security.” The most common method involves seemingly legitimate emails from reputable companies.

Often, they contain a link to fake websites that also look like the official ones. However, they will steal your e-wallet, eCommerce, and banking information. 

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The CICC warns, “Never click links from unknown emails or text messages because these are phishing scams that can lead to account takeover by stealing personal information, account name, and passwords. Worse, many may also include malware.”

5. Fake online shopping stores

Caution: Fake Online Shopping Sites

The Christmas season means amazing bargains and discounts for many. However, Undas scams take advantage of that trend by mimicking online shopping stores.

Scammers may pose as official eCommerce shops and social media pages but feature fake products. However, they are often cheaply made or highly toxic.

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“Never believe a too good to be true sales offers. If the product is too cheap, then it must be fake, or worse, it does not exist. Always check the legitimacy of the seller and never transact outside the eCommerce site,”

6. Package scams

Package Delivery Scam Warning

Buying stuff is much easier nowadays, thanks to online shopping. It lets us monitor our orders with timely updates and real-time trackers. However, Undas scams may prey on this convenience, too.

Scammers may send a fake email or text message informing you about an intercepted package delivery. It contains a link that a person must click to verify rerouting the delivery.

However, that link usually triggers a download link to malware that steals your personal information and money. “Always verify the sender or email address. Make sure that you don’t schedule a delivery when you are not home. Never entertain messages or calls from unknown senders,” executive director Ramos reminds.

7. Dugo-Dugo gang

Avoid Dugo-Dugo Gangs Scam

Perhaps one of the most infamous Undas scams is the “Dugo-Dugo Gang” scheme. It involves criminals calling a home to report an accident involving the homeowners.

They assume household helpers would answer the phone and panic immediately. In response, scammers would tell the person to bring a huge sum of money to a random location.

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Then, they will take the money and run.  “This is the most conventional that continues to victimize a lot of people. People left in the should always have a way to contact the homeowner to verify reports of accidents and other emergencies,” the executive director said.The Philippines is ramping up cybersecurity


Online scams become more prevalent during All Saints’ Day and All Souls Day. Most people leave their homes to go to cemeteries to pay respects, so online scammers take advantage of their absence.

People should know the most common Undas scams to know how to avoid them. Moreover, they should share such advisories with their friends and family.

As a result, they could reduce the number of victims of Undas scams. Boost your knowledge of other online scams and digital trends at Inquirer Tech. 

Frequently asked questions about online scams

Why are online scams more prevalent during Undas?

Most homes are vacant during All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day as homeowners go to cemeteries and provinces. If there’s someone at home, it’s usually the household helper who is more likely to fall for online scams. Also, the homeowners may have their guard down outside, making them more likely to use suspicious wireless networks.

How do you protect yourself against online scams?

Your first line of defense against online scams is to learn about their telltale signs. Then, you must avoid falling for them by ignoring their fake messages and links. Also, you should inform your friends and relatives about these schemes to protect them, too. More importantly, report such schemes to the authorities.

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How do you report Undas scams?

CICC executive director Alexander Ramos reminds Filipinos to report online scams to the Inter-Agency Response Center (I-ARC) Hotline 1326. Also, you may send complaints to 0947-714-7105 (SMART), 0966-976-5971 (Globe), and 0991-481-4225 (DITO). The CICC Facebook page and Scam Watch PH websites accept reports, too.

TOPICS: Cybersecurity, interesting topics, Safety, Trending
TAGS: Cybersecurity, interesting topics, Safety, Trending

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