Amid intensified efforts to crack down on SMS spam-based scams, PLDT and its wireless unit Smart Communications (Smart) advise the public to stay paranoid of text messages, e-mails, and websites disguised as employment opportunities.
Mobile users are encouraged to observe fraud prevention measures to protect themselves from becoming victims of hoax.
“The first line of defense is awareness. Recognizing a scam and its warning signs helps users stay one step ahead of digital fraudsters. With the rising threat of cybercrime activities, it is most important that we stay paranoid of suspicious emails, links, or text messages across all our communication channels,” said Angel T. Redoble, the chief information security officer of PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG).
The scammers have leveraged the ongoing pandemic to engage in SMS phishing, specifically targeting job seekers who are desperately on the lookout for earning opportunities.
In view of the growing cybercrime attacks, findings from CSOG show that from January to November this year, a monthly average of 758 scamming sites have been blocked by the Group across all sources – SMS, spam emails received by employees, phishing sites reported by banks, and information acquired from threat intelligence operations.
In terms of spam detection and blocking alone, PLDT and Smart’s investigation units have also observed a three-fold increase from June this year, with the month of November posting the highest number of spams and phishing activities of 600 mobile numbers blocked on a daily average.
Aside from blocking malicious domains, the Group’s cyber threat and cybercrime intelligence teams have also engaged the perpetrators to understand the operations behind this “interactive” modus.
“Potentially reflective of a global organized syndicate, this scheme uses sites for fraudulent transactions, which our units have already reported to authorized web-hosting services,” said Redoble. “The safety of our subscribers remains our highest priority. We, at PLDT and Smart, will ensure that they are protected from becoming victims to this targeted and well-organized scam campaign from end-to-end.”
PLDT Group is committed to further strengthening its surveillance, identification, and blocking capabilities to ensure the long-term safety of its customers from fraudsters and scammers. In achieving this, PLDT and Smart reiterate their strong partnership with government agencies, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the National Privacy Commission (NPC).