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More victims of text scams this year

Despite the constant reminders from authorities including police about the increasing reports of text scams, some citizens are still being victimized.

Marcy Baniqued, a recent victim of spam text, in his report to the police said that he received a message that he had won a game show which entitled him to a PhP 20,000 reward. The unknown sender asks for his personal information, such as his birthdate so he could claim his reward money.

The opportunity that he expected turns out to be a disappointment. His PhP2,000 balance in his GCash was instead stolen by the unknown sender because of the  personal information that he has given.

“I was asked if my GCash has a PhP3,500 balance so that I could receive the PhP20,000 reward so I gave them my birthdate later to find out that the PhP2,000 had been wiped out,” Baniqued wrote in Filipino in his report.

Baniqued is just one of the thousands of reported cases of text scams in the country. The country’s largest telecom providers, Globe, SMART/PLDT, have been blocking scams, spam messages, and phone numbers to control the felonious acts.

Globe Telecom has recently blocked 784 million spam messages, while  PLDT and SMART Communications have blocked 23 million suspected scam phone numbers.

Police Lt. Col. Ma. Theresa Guinto-Pucay advised citizens to be vigilant in clicking the links that were sent by the unknown senders because this might steal their personal information that was used to make illegal transactions without the knowledge of the receiver.

She also expressed her support for the sim card registration law. “Sa amin, na 100 percent na kami ay sang-ayon kami sa sim registration, kasi para lahat ng sim na ginagamit natin eh nakaregister na at madali nating madetermine kung sino ang may ari ng sim na yon or kung sino ang gumagawa ng hindi maganda, nag-escam o kaya ginagawa itong o gamit ang number na to or pananakot at lahat ng iba’t ibang or illegal na access or hindi maganda, (For us we support 100 percent the SIM registration effort so that it will be easier for us to determine the owner of the SIM used in conducting the crime,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Senate started the hearing last September 8 on data privacy and stop the leak of personal information of SIM users.

 

Jobelle Galapate

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