What the public can do about text scams, according to NTC and Chel Diokno

September 20, 2022 - 1:35 PM
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People using smartphones
Image by Dean Moriarty via Pixabay

What can the public do about text scams?

The surge of spam messages among network subscribers has dramatically increased and gotten worse in the past months, with some receiving SMS with their names and gender pronouns.

These scams usually contain fake job offers, sham lucky winners and other bogus money-making schemes.

Last week, the National Telecommunications Commission ordered major telco firms to block the clickable links in such messages.

It also told mobile phone producers and sellers to educate the public about a unit’s text blocking features.

The NTC also ordered its regional directors to appear before different local radio and television stations within their respective jurisdictions at least 10 times to warn the public against text scams from September 19 to September 25.

It has likewise recommended the public to do the following:

  • Ignore — Suspected text scams should be ignored. They must not be replied to or have their link clicked
  • Report — Recipient must take a screenshot of the message with the number of the sender and report it to NTC through the following:

— Email [email protected].gov.ph with the user’s complete name, address, e-mail, contact number, number of scammer, screenshot of text message with scammer’s number, and a photo of the user’s government-issued ID

— Upload at NTC’s website by clicking the text scam complaints button, filling out details in the text scam complaints form, and clicking the submit button

Veteran rights lawyer Chel Diokno also shared some tips on his social media account under the hashtag “#LegalLifeHack.” Here are his recommendations:

  • Take a screenshot of the spam message
  • Send it to the network service provider:

— Globe: https://www.globe.com.ph/stop-spam.html
— Smart: E-mail at [email protected]
— Dito: E-mail at [email protected]

  • Complain to the National Privacy Commission by e-mailing them at:

— [email protected]
[email protected]

Diokno also reminded the public that the Data Privacy Act protects people’s information, including their names and cellphone numbers.

“Sa batas na ito, nakasaad na hindi puwedeng gamitin, hindi puwedeng kunin, hindi puwedeng i-process at hindi puwedeng ibenta ang personal na impormasyon natin nang walang pahintulot mula sa atin,” he said on a Facebook post.

“Krimen ang pagkuha sa personal na data ng isang tao na walang pahintulot sa ilalim ng Data Privacy Act, kabilang ang tinatawag na Unauthorized Processing of Personal Information na may parusang pagkabilanggo mula isang taon hanggang tatlong taon at multang P500,000 hanggang P2 milyon,” the lawyer added.