Smart says more fraudulent domains blocked in fight vs SMS scam

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2021 04:17 PM

MANILA - Smart Communications on Monday said it blocked over 200 domains linked to SMS scams or smishing and prevented some 16,000 cybercrime attempts since Nov. 24.

The PLDT Group's mobile arm earlier said it was not enough to block just the numbers so they have been identifying and blocking IP addresses.

In a statement, Smart said it blocked 200 more illegally operating domains, which brought the total to over 400.

In line with Smart's assumption, the National Privacy Commission earlier said a global organized syndicate may be behind the proliferation of SMS scams.

The "complex" scheme likely has ties with operators overseas, both Smart and rival Globe Telecom have said.

“The SMS are being sent by syndicate members operating locally. Once customers tap on the WhatsApp link, they are brought to a chat room where fraudsters based in another country engage them in real-time,” PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group Chief Information Security Officer Angel Redoble explained.

The company advised subscribers to be cautious and to refrain from engaging in job offers that they did not apply for. 

"The bottom line is, they are going to steal your money. And we have proven that," Redoble said. 

Smart said telcos, regulators, banks and e-commerce firms are coming up with a "unified strategy" in the fight against SMS scam.

The National Telecommunications Commission earlier urged telcos to send an SMS blast to warn mobile phone users of the scam. The NPC, meanwhile earlier said there should be fewer SMS spam as the telcos intensified efforts against the crime. 

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