Senate approves bill imposing heavier penalties for bank hackers, ATM skimmers

Senate approves bill imposing heavier penalties for bank hackers, ATM skimmers

The Senate recently approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 6710 which imposes heavier penalties, including life imprisonment, for bank hackers and ATM skimmers.

House Bill No. 6710 is an act that provides additional prohibitions to and increases penalties for violations under Republic Act No. 8484, otherwise known as the “Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998”.

The bill punishes those who are involved skimming, copying or counterfeiting any credit card, ATM or debit card, and any information with intent of accessing the account, as well as those are in possession of any type of skimming device or any electronic equipment that is used to access a bank account in a fraudulent manner, regardless of whether or not it will result in monetary loss to the account holder.


An offender who is in possession of 10 or more counterfeit or unauthorized access devices and was able to access at least one account shall be sentenced to 12 to 20 years in prison and a minimum fine of PHP 500,000. If not proven to have accessed an account, the penalty is 6 to 12 years and a fine of PHP 300,000.

In the case of an offense involving fraudulent use of a credit card, a penalty of imprisonment of 4 to 6 years and a fine of twice the value of the fraudulently obtained credit.

Life imprisonment and a fine of not less than PHP 1 million but not more than PHP 5 million is imposed if the offense constitutes economic sabotage which involves hacking a bank system; skimming which affected 50 or more ATM cards; or any prohibited act that affected 50 or more online banking accounts, credit cards, ATM cards, and debit cards.

The bill also tasks the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to pursue further investigations.


This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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