The RTOC 6 scam is a phishing scam that has been targeting UnionBank customers in the Philippines. The scam involves a text message being sent to potential victims that appears to be from UnionBank, warning them that a recent transaction has been flagged as unauthorized and their account may be frozen if they don’t take action.
This article will provide an in-depth look at how the RTOC 6 scam works, tips for spotting and avoiding it, and what you should do if you receive one of these phishing texts.
How the RTOC 6 Scam Works
The scam text message states that a payment of 15,815 PHP has been flagged as unauthorized and the recipient’s UnionBank account may be frozen if they don’t follow a link to verify their account. The message appears to come from “Union Bank” and references “RTOC 6,” which is designed to sound official.
Here’s an example of the phishing text:
“UnionBank: Transaction failed – 15,815 PHP payment for RTOC6 flagged as unauthorized. We’ve temporarily frozen it. To avoid deactivation, follow the link: myunionbankcare-system.com”
If the recipient clicks on the link, they are taken to a fake UnionBank login page that is designed to steal their online banking credentials. The site looks convincing, but is completely fraudulent.
Once the victim enters their username and password, the scammers behind the site can access their real UnionBank account and drain their funds. The reference to “RTOC 6” is completely made up to make the text seem legitimate.
This scam is known as smishing, which combines SMS messaging with phishing techniques. The goal is to urgently pressure victims into clicking the link and handing over their sensitive information without thinking it through.
Warning Signs of the RTOC 6 Scam
There are a few key signs that a text message like this is a scam and should be avoided:
- Claims there is an urgent problem with your account that requires immediate action
- Includes a suspicious link instead of telling you to login through the official app/website
- Makes threats about your account being frozen or deactivated
- References an entity you don’t recognize like “RTOC 6”
- Has grammatical errors or other typos
- Asks for personal or banking information via text
Real banks like UnionBank will never send links for you to login to your account or ask for private details over text. Anything pressuring you to click a link or provide info is almost certainly a scam.
Tips to Avoid the RTOC 6 Scam
Here are some tips to avoid falling victim to the RTOC 6 smishing scam:
✅ Never click on links in unsolicited text messages, even if they seem to come from a legitimate source. Instead, open the official app or website you normally use.
✅ Contact the purported sender (e.g. your bank) directly through their official customer service number to ask about any texts claiming there are problems. Do not use any numbers included in a suspicious text message.
✅ Look out for poor grammar, typos, threatening language, or an urgent call to action as red flags of a scam.
✅ Be wary of any message invoking dire consequences like your account being frozen or deactivated if you don’t act quickly. Legitimate companies generally do not threaten customers in this way.
✅ If you receive a suspicious text, report it to your bank’s fraud department right away so they are aware. Consider proactively locking debit or credit cards that could be compromised.
✅ Never send personal information like account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers over text message. Legit entities will not ask for this over SMS.
✅ Turn on two-factor authentication for your financial accounts and password manager when available. This provides an extra layer of protection beyond your username and password.
✅ Install security and anti-malware software on your mobile devices. Some can detect fraudulent links before you even click on them.
Staying vigilant against scams and threats is crucial, but avoid paranoia. Just be sure to pause and evaluate any texts or other requests carefully before providing sensitive data or taking urgent action. If something seems suspicious, contact the company directly before proceeding.
What to Do If You Receive the RTOC 6 Text Scam
If you receive a text message with the RTOC 6 scam wording, here are important steps to take:
✅ Do NOT click the link or provide any information. The safest bet is to ignore the text completely.
✅ Call UnionBank’s official customer service line or visit your nearest branch to alert them. Ask if there are any actual issues with your account.
✅ Consider proactively changing your online banking password and enabling two-factor authentication if you haven’t already.
✅ Forward the text to 7726, which is Globe Telecom’s spam reporting number. This helps your mobile provider identify and block fraudulent spam texts.
✅ File a report with UnionBank’s fraud and investigation unit so they can take action against the scammers behind the attack: (02) 8578-2266, [email protected]
✅ Report the scam attempt to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas via their consumer complaint form.
✅ Block the sender’s phone number so you won’t receive any more scam texts from them. Do not engage or respond to the sender.
✅ Warn friends and family who bank with UnionBank about this new smishing scam targeting customers. The more informed consumers are, the less likely these scams will succeed.
As long as you avoid clicking links or providing information, a scam text like this is unlikely to compromise your accounts or data. But reporting it helps protect other potential victims and aids investigators, so they can try to shut down these fraud campaigns at the source.
Reviews and Complaints About the RTOC 6 Scam
The RTOC 6 smishing scam targeting UnionBank customers appears to have started in late 2022, with many users receiving the fraudulent texts in November and December.
On social media and consumer complaint platforms, UnionBank customers have posted about their experiences receiving the suspicious text message:
“I got a text from ‘Union Bank’ saying a 15k+ payment was unauthorized and my account may be frozen if I don’t click their link. Obvious scam but still unnerving!”
“Has anyone else gotten a scam text about RTOC 6 and UnionBank? It looked so real until I saw posts warning about it. Reporting it now.”
“Scary how customized the UnionBank smishing scam is. But I will never click links in random texts. Hope others are aware this is happening.”
“Heads up that there is a new smishing scam going around referencing RTOC 6 and your UnionBank account being frozen. I almost fell for it until I called the bank to confirm it’s fraud.”
Many customers have filed formal complaints on the National Privacy Commission’s website detailing their experiences receiving the RTOC 6 scam text message.
Some users noted that initially clicking the link, but then realizing it’s a scam before inputting any information. This highlights how convincing the fake login pages look, but also that education can help consumers avoid being deceived.
Overall, the comments indicate that public awareness about this specific phishing campaign has been crucial to help people identify and avoid it. But many emphasize that banks need to implement further safeguards as scam tactics continue to evolve.
How UnionBank is Responding to the Scam
UnionBank has issued advisories warning customers about the phishing scam texts referencing RTOC 6 and fake account suspension threats.
On November 23, 2022, UnionBank posted on their official Facebook page:
“Please be aware of this new smishing scam that references “RTOC 6″ and a high-value transaction. Do not click any link as it will direct you to a fake UnionBank website designed to steal your account details.”
“As a rule, UnionBank will never ask for confidential information like your password or OTP over SMS. If you receive any suspicious text message, please call our hotline immediately so we can protect your account.”
UnionBank also tweeted safety reminders, emphasizing that customers should never click links in unsolicited messages claiming to be from the bank.
In their SMS Notifications FAQs, they note that UnionBank will never ask for your password, PIN, OTP or other security codes via text message, phone call, or email.
UnionBank’s customer support representatives have been advising people who call in about the scam text messages to report them directly to UnionBank’s fraud investigation unit for review.
The bank has not provided details on who may be orchestrating this smishing campaign targeting their customers. However, they advise diligently inspecting any text messages and proactively contacting UnionBank to confirm legitimacy before taking any action.
Overall, UnionBank is warning customers against the scam while urging them to practice good cybersecurity habits like never clicking unverified links. But some consumers feel the bank should implement more protective measures like multi-factor authentication to combat the evolving scam threat.
Protecting Yourself from Smishing Scams
The RTOC 6 scam provides a prime example of how scammers use smishing tactics to target victims and gain access to their financial accounts.
Here are some key tips to protect yourself:
✅ Never click on links or call numbers in unexpected text messages. If you receive a suspicious text, independently look up the company’s official contact info to reach out.
✅ Set up SMS-based two-factor authentication if available and use it for accounts with sensitive info. But watch out for SMS phishing attempts trying to exploit this.
✅ Be wary of texts invoking urgency, threatening account suspension, or requesting private data. Legit businesses generally do not operate this way.
✅ Review SMS forwarding settings on your phone. Scammers can exploit this to intercept codes sent by your bank. Only forward to numbers you know and trust.
✅ Consider using a banking anti-fraud/anti-phishing app. Some can identify scammy texts and block them from reaching you.
✅ Disable SMS-based account recovery options if possible. Opt for other methods like email or security questions instead.
✅ Never disclose personal or banking info via text. Assume SMS communications are not secure or encrypted.
✅ Report any smishing attempts to your mobile provider and the purported company being impersonated so they are aware.
Staying alert to threatening or urgent-sounding SMS messages asking for your details or prompting you to click suspicious links remains the most effective tactic against smishing. If in doubt, contact the company via their official website or app rather than the phone number provided.
The Bottom Line
The RTOC 6 smishing scam targeting UnionBank users exemplifies how fraudsters are getting more sophisticated with targeted phishing attacks. But with awareness around common red flags, these scams can be detected and avoided.
Keeping software up to date, enabling security options, never clicking questionable links, and confirming legitimacy directly with companies can protect against threat actors aiming to steal personal data and drain accounts.
If you receive a text message appearing to be from UnionBank that references “RTOC 6” and asks you to click a link, report it immediately without engaging. UnionBank will never conduct official business requesting sensitive information over SMS.
Carefully inspect any texts claiming there are account issues or problems that require urgent action. Contact companies through official channels rather than the information provided in suspicious messages. With caution and awareness, consumers can keep their finances and information secure against smishing scams.