What would you do if you saw a huge amount of money deposited in your account but you don't know where it was from?
Former senator Ping Lacson recently tweeted about having this dilemma, as he found an unrecognized P180,000 in his bank account.
"Yesterday, a P180k online deposit was reflected in my savings account. Having no idea who made the transaction, I asked the bank manager to trace," he wrote.
This has also happened before to a rapper in Australia, who woke up to find some wrongly deposited $750,000. Instead of telling his bank about the error, Abdel Ghadia spent the cash on gold bullion bars, clothes, and make-up. The aftermath? The 24-year-old was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.
So what should you do if you find yourself in a similar situation? PhilSTAR L!fe talked to some bankers for tips on what to do if you find extra cash in your account that you're unsure of.
"Same as what Lacson did, you should call your bank’s hotline or contact your branch’s manager to investigate the transaction," said banker Grace* (name withheld by request). "Do it as soon as you see the transaction reflected on your account so that the bank can do the necessary actions or, let’s say, block your account if needed."
Retired bank employee of 37 years Jope Licsi also advised to go to your bank and to not touch the money. "Tell this to your branch manager na may misposting na nangyari. Don't touch the deposit."
The new money could have been transferred as a result of a mistake, especially if the transaction was done online, according to Grace. "The sender could have typed the wrong account number or a single digit in it and, apparently, this account was owned by Lacson. It’s a common mistake when sending money in GCash or other banking apps, so it’s not unlikely that the senator’s case was just human error."
She added that it could also be a scam, but that would be a complicated modus operandi where the scammer will be reaching out to the bank account holder.
To keep yourself safe and accountable in situations like this, Jope says to be honest. "Just be honest kasi mahuhuli't-mahuhuli ka diyan."
Meanwhile, Grace gave these tips for account holders: "Check your account frequently and be vigilant of suspicious transactions. It is also important to be careful when using your ATM or debit cards in stores or online as a way of protecting yourself against frauds and scams."