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In the opening quarter of this year, Smart Communications Inc., a prominent wireless provider, demonstrated its commitment to safeguarding its customers by thwarting over 13 million fraud attempts. This significant figure serves as a stark warning regarding the growing prevalence of hijacked profiles and online scams targeting unsuspecting users.

Amidst the ever-evolving landscape of digital communication, where connectivity is paramount, the protection of customer data and privacy has emerged as a critical priority for telecommunications companies. As technology advances and cyber threats become more sophisticated, telecom providers like Smart Communications Inc. are compelled to deploy robust security measures to mitigate risks and ensure the integrity of their services.

Additionally, Smart Communications Inc. took action against nearly 200,000 SIM cards engaged in harmful activities, enhancing collaboration with authorities to deter digital fraud. Smart Communications Inc. Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Joseph Ian Gendrano, stated that the company is increasing its fraud detection efforts following the rise in cases of hijacked profiles.

A hijacked profile occurs when a hacker gains access to a victim's social media account. Typically, the victim is locked out of their account, and the hacker contacts social media contacts to request money, usually under the guise of illness.

Gendrano stated that hackers gain access to social media accounts through phishing. During the second quarter of 2023, over 23 percent of phishing attacks worldwide targeted financial institutions. Social media followed, with around 22.3 percent of registered phishing attacks. Furthermore, web-based software services and webmail accounted for 22.3 percent of attacks. As a result, he advised customers to exercise caution when clicking on e-mails, links, or texts from unknown sources. Gendrano also reminded subscribers that phishing messages use low-quality photos and incorrect grammar to impersonate legitimate institutions such as banks and the government.

Gendrano further advised against entering personal information on unfamiliar websites, warning that hackers are skilled at creating fake channels that appear legitimate at first glance.

“Data is the new oil. Cyber criminals steal personal information to defraud or use your identity to victimize people close to you. Guard your data,” emphasized Gendrano.


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