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Spam & Scam Messages Received via Chat Apps

Globe Reiterates Warning vs Spam, Scam Messages Received via Chat Apps

Globe has renewed its call on customers to be vigilant against unwanted messages they receive from unknown numbers via over-the-top (OTT) media services or chat apps. 

This, amid reports of rising cases in the wake of stricter SMS regulation through the SIM Registration Act. Fraudsters have apparently turned to using OTT services to evade telco network’s spam filters, with many using foreign numbers, said Anton Reynaldo Bonifacio, Globe’s Chief Information Security Officer. 

“OTT messages are not SIM-based and do not pass through telco networks. Therefore, we have no control over them. But what Globe can do is once we confirm that an OTT account associated with a Globe number has been used for fraud, we deactivate this SIM. It is important to note that many OTT accounts targeting Philippine mobile users use foreign SIMs, which are outside the scope of Philippine telcos,” Bonifacio said. 

“This is why it is important for customers that use OTT services to be more vigilant. Never engage with chat messages from numbers they do not know, including those making various offers. Please block these numbers and report them to the chat app you’re using,” he said. 

Globe has been at the forefront of industry efforts to combat spam and scam messages, working with government agencies and various private sector partners to constantly step up efforts against fraud within areas under its control. 

As part of its vigorous proactive spam blocking, Globe was the first telco to block all person-to-person (P2P) SMS with clickable links within its network in September 2022, a measure enforced industry-wide last month by the National Telecommunications Commission. 

By the end of September this year, Globe had blocked a total of 2.59 billion spam and scam messages, deactivated 4,733 SIMs, and blacklisted 150,287 linked to SMS fraud. Globe deactivates SIMS from its own network linked to fraud and blacklists numbers from other networks to stop them from sending SMS to Globe SIMs. 

Globe also runs a 24/7 Security Operations Center to filter out unwanted messages from international and local numbers. It has invested a total $20 million to enhance its spam and scam SMS detection and blocking mechanisms. 

Customers are encouraged to activate spam filters on their devices and also report unwanted SMS via Globe’s #StopSpam portal.

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