MANILA, Philippines — Entrepreneur Neneronda Tan recently got the shock of her life when she found out that she had P1.74 million in credit card debt incurred from 14 transactions—none of which she authorized—all made deep in the night in less than two hours.

This was right after she lost her cell phone signal when she accepted a call from someone claiming to represent courier DHL, advising her of an upcoming delivery, according to a complaint dated Oct. 25, 2021, filed by Tan at the National Bureau of Investigation.

Sensing that something was amiss when her cell phone signal was not restored overnight, Tan reported the incident to her telecom provider the next morning and called her bank to suspend her credit card.

By the time she got through the bank’s hotline in the afternoon, it was then that she found out about the transactions made between 12:59 a.m. and 2:44 a.m. of Oct. 23. There were other transactions that failed because her credit limit had been breached.

Meanwhile, her telecom provider told her that on the day she lost her signal on Oct. 22, a female impostor had gone to one of its service centers and requested to suspend her cell phone line. When asked for valid IDs, the impostor presented a “Neneronda Tan” voter’s ID and TIN card that matched her personal information, although the photos in the IDs were of the impostor’s.

To date, the Tan family has yet to receive updates on how the hacking happened, or the course of action to take…

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