SMS spam seen to lessen, as telcos intensify crackdown, says privacy watchdog

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2021 09:16 AM | Updated as of Nov 25 2021 01:40 PM

Citizens use their phones in Quezon City amid the modified enhanced community quarantine on August 16, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File
Citizens use their phones in Quezon City amid the modified enhanced community quarantine on August 16, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA—The public should expect fewer SMS spam in the coming days, as the country's telecommunications providers were ordered to ramp up efforts to fight cybercrime, the National Privacy Commission said Thursday.

"Nabawasan na data. Tayo ay pinagalaw talaga natin ang mga telco na pagibayuhin ang kanilang anti-spam campaigns particular sa spam na ito," NPC Commissioner Raymund Liboro told Teleradyo.

(It has been reduced. We ordered the telcos to intensify their anti-spam campaigns)

Regulators earlier asked telcos to use their SMS blasting capabilities to warn users against clicking the link contained in spam messages. 

If they click, they will be led to phishing sites where they will be asked to invest their own money before receiving promised commissions stated in the SMS job offer, Liboro said. 

Globe Telecom and Smart Communications Inc. said they have been blocking numbers, messages and IP addresses linked to illegal activities.

Liboro said investigations led the NPC to believe that a global organized syndicate could be behind the scam. 

He said the agency is also looking at data aggregators that could have been used by cybercriminals for spam. 

Mobile users in the country recently reported an increase in SMS messaging used by fraudsters to obtain personal data and eventually get money by offering job opportunities.

Liboro said this was not an isolated case and was also happening in other countries, such as India and Singapore.