Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Understand Mobile Prefixes to Dodge Scams

Understanding Mobile Prefixes to Dodge Scams

Woman holding mobile phone with an incoming call from an unknown caller.

Knowing mobile prefixes can help you recognize potential spam or scam calls.

Do you get calls from numbers your mobile phone doesn't recognize? In today's highly connected world, answering a call from an unknown number can range from inconvenient to downright risky. The first thing to do when seeing an unknown number on your screen? Know your mobile prefixes. This step can help you avoid scams, spam, and more. Read on to understand why you should know what network the number is from before hitting that green button.

Why should you know what network it is before answering that call

The mobile prefix refers to the first digits of your number. Internationally, it can identify which country the number is from — the Philippines' mobile network prefix is +63. Locally, it indicates the network the number falls under. Understanding the distinctions between the latter can protect you from unwanted promotional offers or being a target of financial fraud.

1. Understanding mobile prefixes can help you protect yourself against potential scams.

Photo of a cellphone with a sample spam message

Don’t click any links or engage in unusual messages asking you to redeem your points.

Scammers often use numbers from less familiar networks or international numbers to deceive you. If you're unsure, don't pick up the call. You can also educate yourself on common moduses such as:


  • One ring scam uses international or local numbers from lesser-known networks to make you call back, leading to pricey charges.
  • Emergency scams involve someone calling you or your kasambahay pretending there's an emergency involving a family member (like an accident or a kidnapping) who needs money urgently.
  • Text scams include messages claiming you've won a prize, inherited money, or are eligible for a special offer. The caller will then ask for personal information or money to claim the reward.
  • Fake charity scams also often take advantage of Filipinos' generosity, especially after natural disasters. These messages solicit donations for charities that don't exist.
  • Fake loans or investment scams ask you for an upfront fee in return for an approved loan or higher investment returns with little to no risk.

2. Knowing mobile prefixes can make you less susceptible to phishing attempts.

Young Asian woman talking on her smartphone while holding her credit card.

Be wary of calls asking for your credit card information or other sensitive data.


Some callers with unknown mobile numbers also engage in phishing attempts. These people pretend to be from banks, government agencies, or other institutions to get your personal and financial information. For example, if you get a call from a number with a foreign prefix claiming to be your local bank, be wary.


Scammers sometimes use number spoofing to generate a fake caller ID and disguise their identity. But there are a few strategies you can use to protect yourself when answering calls.


  • Be alert if you receive an unexpected call. Consider it a red flag if the caller asks you for personal information or money.
  • Never give out sensitive information over the phone unless you initiated the call and know the recipient's identity.
  • Verify the caller's identity by hanging up and contacting the organization directly through a trusted number. 
  • Be aware of common phone scams (like those mentioned above) and the latest tactics used by scammers. Often, government agencies provide updates on prevalent scams.
  • Report spoofed numbers to your local regulatory authority or telecommunications provider. This can help them track and stop such activities.
  • If you don't recognize a number, let the call go to voicemail. Many scammers won't leave a message.

3. Recognizing mobile prefixes can help you safeguard your privacy.

Close-up photo of smartphone screen showing suspected spam call.

Identifying prefixes commonly used for spam calls can help you protect your privacy.


Unknown numbers could also be from spam callers. These calls are often unsolicited, disruptive, and, in the case of scams, potentially dangerous. Here are a few tips on how to avoid spam calls. 


  • Identify unfamiliar numbers. Calls with unfamiliar mobile number prefixes mean you need to be more cautious.
  • Recognize prefixes commonly used for spam calls, helping you be more alert to potential spam before you answer.
  • Be aware of international numbers, so you can identify and avoid scam calls from outside your country.
  • Block unknown numbers that repeatedly call you when you don't pick up. If it's important, they'll leave a message. 

4. Being familiar with mobile prefixes can prevent unwanted charges.


Knowing what network the call is from can also help you manage your telecommunication costs. For some, calls to different networks can incur higher charges than those from your network. By being aware of what network the mobile prefix belongs to, you can decide whether to return a call, especially if you're on a limited call and text plan. 


While knowing mobile prefixes and being alert to scam calls are crucial first steps, choosing the right mobile plan adds another layer of protection. Globe's postpaid plans and prepaid promos offer more than cost-effective ways to stay connected; they also provide tools to set up spam filters and report scam messages. The SIM Registration Act also helps protect you by requiring everyone to register their SIMs before use, a move that prevents fraudulent activities by ensuring user identification. Familiarize yourself with these tips to help you manage expenses and protect yourself in today's hyper-connected society.

Vibe check! How does this make you feel?

Live the Next-Level Digital Lifestyle

Update the way you stay connected with an eSIM. Available first with Globe.