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The Consumer

‘Unusual activity’ in an account I don’t have

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After being threatened with deactivation of my nonexistent account with the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), I received another e-mail informing me of some unusual activity in my account with Banco de Oro (BDO).

Since I do not have an account with BDO—never had—any activity in my name is totally, completely, absolutely unusual.

Of course, the e-mail wants me to visit a link to get things sorted out. As RCBC already warned its clients, messages like this are meant to get the recipient to share confidential information about their real accounts.

So, before you hastily respond to the e-mail, check with your bank first. You can call or, better yet, visit the branch nearest you. That will also alert them to these attempts to steal information from their clients so they can warn them.

The Internet is a very convenient way to scam people because of the anonymity it offers. Before people realize they have been conned, their money and the scam artist are gone.

‘Road-testing’ a tab

I had the good fortune to “road test” the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. My main interest is the S Pen, since I still do note-taking by hand even if I bring a voice recorder. I wanted to know if it could substitute my reliable pen and notebook.

I am happy to report it lived up to my expectations. I was able to use it to take notes easily enough and it offered enough pages for me to write on and it adjusted to my style of writing. When I reviewed my notes, they looked bigger on the screen, making them easier to read. The page also stayed steady as I read, and it was so much easier to go back and forth between pages.

Of course, my chicken-scratching still looked like chicken-scratching even on a digital machine. But as long as I can read it, I have no problem with that.

I cannot say anything about the other features, not being a techie. It does have a multi-screen feature so I can have something on display even as I write, eliminating the need to keep minimizing and restoring to standard size the pages I need to read.

The main drawback for me of this tab is the price—about P37,000 I think. The salesperson at Abenson said this was because it had a built-in phone. You could insert a SIM (subscriber identification module) card and be able to call, text or surf  the Internet, making it not so necessary to  find a WiFi hub if you really have to go online, or to get a dedicated plan. Like today’s smartphones, you can access the web through your network and pay for usage time or switch to WiFi, if there is one available, so you do not have to pay.

I asked Smart if I would need a postpaid plan to use the Internet feature. I was assured that, while they had all kinds of packages to choose from depending on my requirements, a prepaid plan will work just as well.

Of course, if you want to use the tab as a phone, you will have to get headphones so you do not look strange having a 10.1-inch screen stuck to your ear.

New lifestyle card

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Ayala Malls have partnered for the Amore Visa. The new credit card offers rebates, discounts and freebies, as well as free use of amenities such as lounges, invites to exclusive events, etc., in participating establishments in the different Ayala Malls. To know more about this new product, visit bpi.com.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph


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