PLDT and Smart Communications (Smart) have increased their fraud protection mechanisms fourfold, outpacing perpetrators by aggressively blocking malicious domains and activating filtering systems that weed out spam messages.
For the month of November alone, PLDT and Smart’s threat intelligence, cybersecurity and cybercrime investigation units have already blocked 19,000 mobile numbers in relation to the digital pyramiding scheme allegedly orchestrated by a global syndicate.
To date, the teams have also blocked 5,693 user access to these sites and uncovered over 100 domains which are directly related and involved in the ongoing SMS spam modus.
The Group’s continuing investigations revealed that the mobile numbers targeted by these spam text messages were from registered users of the online messaging platform, WhatsApp. However, PLDT and Smart do not discount the possibility of subscribers without WhatsApp accounts from receiving such messages.
“The cybercriminals have mischievously capitalized the high unemployment rate in this pandemic to make money. To avoid falling victims of financial loss, we urge the public to delete, block, and not click such too-good-to-be-true job offers,” said Angel T. Redoble, the chief information security officer of PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group.
Aside from collaborating with banking institutions, e-commerce firms, and other telecommunications companies in coming up with a unified strategy, the Group is also working closely with the Department of Trade and Industry, National Telecommunications Commission, and the National Privacy Commission in addressing the issue.
“PLDT and Smart recognize how crucial data privacy has become, and we have convened with various sectors regarding the matter – a recognition that this issue requires a multisectoral approach. We assure the government agencies and other sectors that PLDT and Smart will take an active role in protecting Filipinos against cybercrime by strengthening our cybersecurity reinforcements,” said Leah B. Jimenez, the Chief Data Privacy Officer of PLDT and Smart.
With cybersecurity risks posing a serious threat to customers, PLDT and Smart are maintaining their operations 24/7 to respond strategically to these cyber attacks. Through their combined efforts with stakeholders, private institutions, and the local government, the Group is helping the country build a powerful cybersecurity arsenal against acts of digital fraud in cyberspace.
To report suspicious and unsolicited text messages to PLDT and Smart’s Cybersecurity and Operations Group, mobile subscribers may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org