• Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Globe, the leading full-service telecommunications company, has cautioned its customers against the rising number of spam and scam messages using over-the-top (OTT) media services that are outside the scope of telco filters.

While spam and scam messages have declined in the Philippines since the enforcement of the SIM Registration Act, fraudsters continue to find new ways to attack phishing victims, taking advantage of popular OTT platforms like chat apps to evade telco filters. "These fraudsters use both overseas and local numbers and mostly appear as business accounts with attractive profile photos to dupe people," Globe stated in a press release.

Cybercriminals now use the target's full name and pretend to be messaging about a missed connection or making various offers. Their technique is to establish a sense of familiarity and trust in an attempt to start a conversation.

Anton Bonifacio, chief information security officer at Globe, said these scammers are capitalizing on the growing shift to a more digital lifestyle.

"Embracing the digital world comes with its own set of risks, so we must remain vigilant in safeguarding our online presence. As technology advances, so do the tactics of fraudsters and scammers. The best way to combat this is to never engage with these messages and to block such senders immediately," he advised.

Bonifacio emphasized that since OTT messages are beyond the telco’s scope, awareness remains the first line of defense for customers.

"By staying informed and adopting personal security measures, we can navigate the digital landscape with confidence and protect ourselves from evolving cyber threats," he noted.

Globe continues blocking unwanted SMS, including app-to-person and person-to-person text messages from international and domestic sources, through a 24/7 Security Operations Center.

The company reportedly blocked almost 1.1 billion scam and spam messages in the first quarter of the year, which is a five-fold increase from the 217.31 million unwanted and unsolicited messages blocked in the same quarter last year.

Also, the recorded number of blacklisted SIMs from Globe's Stop Spam portal soared to 22,455 in the first quarter of 2023, a massive increase from 1,812 during the same period last year. It also deactivated 647 SIMs, of which 610 were involved in sending scam or fraud messages, while the remaining 37 were used to send spam messages.

The number of scams and spam messages blocked by Globe more than doubled to a record 2.72 billion last year from 1.15 billion in 2021. Likewise, Globe also deactivated 20,225 SIMs and blacklisted 35,333 more.

To stop the proliferation of such illegal activities, Globe has reiterated its call for customers to register their SIMs before the July 25 extended registration deadline.

Pin It