Ignore unknown callers, turn off mobile data to avoid scams: CICC official


Posted at Oct 01 2023 12:29 PM

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MANILA — Being more difficult to reach could help the public avoid mobile phone scams, an official said Sunday as he issued reminders amid the continued proliferation of scams despite efforts like SIM Card registration to curb them.

Speaking on TeleRadyo Serbisyo, Undersecretary Alexander Ramos of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center told the public to ignore calls requesting personal information or PIN codes.

Ramos said banks or telcos do not ask for personal information through calls. Their advice, he said, is to go to physical branches and officer personally to update personal information.

Ignore unknown callers

It is also not advisable to respond to calls and texts from unknown sources, Ramos said, because those could be from cybercriminals who use a system called "click trap." 

He said that scammers can generate a list of numbers of potential victims through AI and call or send text messages to see if the numbers are active.

Once a user responds, he said, scammers could unleash "all forms" of attacks. 

"Pag ikaw ay sumagot, huli ka. Ibig sabihin, alam nila na may tao behind that number," Ramos said, noting that cybercriminals have shifted their targets from institutions to individuals.

(If you answer, you're caught. It means they know that there is someone behind that number.)

Turn off mobile data

Ramos advised phone users to prevent apps from tracking their location by turning mobile data off when they don't need to be online.

"Isa po ito sa mga data na kinokolekta ng mga scammers, ng cybercriminals para malaman ang behavior ng isang user," he said.

"Tandaan n'yo ang personal information, PIN codes, lahat ng litrato are now becoming the new commodity online. Mahal ho ang bilihan diyan," he also said.

(This is among the data collected by scammers and cybercriminals to know the behavior of a user. Remember that personal information, PIN codes, and photos are now becoming the new commodity online. These are sold at a high price.)