Globe Telecom advised Filipinos to be cautious online as law enforcers warned of a fresh rise in online and text fraud.
Globe chief information security officer Anton Bonifacio said fraudsters were finding new ways to bait potential victims to circumvent the SIM Registration Act and sustained industry efforts to block spam and scam SMS.
Bonifacio said because of Globe’s tighter regulations, scammers were increasingly shifting to over-the-top (OTT) media services such as chat apps and spoofing, or the use of illegal devices to trick customer phones, all of which operate outside the scope of telcos.
“As much as we improve our filtering systems and enhance the implementation of the SIM Registration Act, fraudsters continue to find new ways to make victims out of mobile and internet users. We would like to reiterate our appeal to the public: please, please never engage with unsolicited calls, texts or chat messages and never give your personal details to strangers,” said Bonifacio.
Police reports showed that cases of cyber identity theft in the Philippines increased 12.2 percent in 2023, with 1,597 cases logged compared to 1,402 in 2022.
Meanwhile, Globe’s own data showed that scam and spam texts continued to rise, with 5.48 billion unwanted SMS blocked in 2023, or double the figure in 2022 at 2.7 billion.
The company said it has been stringent in fending off scam and spam SMS, blocking all person-to-person SMS with URLs since September 2022, an industry first.
Globe said of the total, it saw a marked decline in bank-related spam and scam SMS blocked in 2023 at 21.9 million–a 73.7-percent drop from 83.39 million in 2022–owing to Globe’s anti-fraud partnerships with major banks and financial institutions.