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How to Avoid SMS Scams

How to Avoid SMS Scams

Any mobile phone user in the Philippines can easily name the one unusual text activity that’s cropped up in 2022: spam SMS messages. From January to September 2023, Globe’s proactive blocking efforts fended off over 7 million bank-related spam and scam SMS, crashing from a high of 49.3 million in the same period in 2022.

Photo of a smartphone with a scam message.

Scam messages try to trick you by creating a sense of urgency and fear.

Random, persistent, and sent by unknown numbers, these messages make unsolicited offers related to products, services, promos, and job openings. In some cases, these scammers claim users have won contests or giveaways they haven’t even entered. And while many are privy to these schemes, there are still individuals who fall prey to them.

What are users in for when they do fall for SMS scams? For one, these deceitful messages are used by scammers to lure SMS recipients into disclosing sensitive information. One common instance is to get individuals to provide a one-time password to one of their accounts, after which the scammer will proceed with an unauthorized online transition (a subscription, account registration, or money transfer). Another example would be to straightforwardly acquire a user’s personal data like their birthday, address, and bank account number.

Daunting as these encounters might be, there are safeguards that mobile phone users can turn to. Globe, for its part as a service provider, is working on doubling down on anti-spam efforts. Users, on their end, can also opt to activate their SMS spam filters. In addition, they should best keep the “SecuriTips” ahead in mind.

Learn to spot SMS scams.

Confused Asian man looking at smartphone with a scam message.

Spot SMS scams: Check for odd links, unknown senders, and spelling errors.

There are three things to question when receiving text messages: the source, the format, and the message itself. Is the sender using a random, private mobile number? Are there spelling and grammatical errors? Does the text include unusual links? These are red flags to watch out for as they typically point to spam and scam messages.

Think before clicking on links.

Photo of a smartphone with scam text messages and a suspicious link.

Keep your personal info safe: Don't click on unknown links in texts.

In the same way that providing sensitive information can pave the way for security breaches, tapping on unknown links poses threats to your security. There were reports that scammers were sending fake Globe website links. In some cases, scammers can go so far as to infect a user’s device, whether a mobile phone or desktop, just by getting them to tap on malicious links. Regardless of how enticing the message is, do not heed calls to action coming from random numbers and only refer to Globe’s official website.

Verify the sender’s identity.

Photo of a man researching on his laptop with his wife beside him.

Verify text sender identity by checking the number and contacting the company directly to avoid scams.

Scammers sometimes deceive users by associating themselves with companies in banking, entertainment (Netflix and Amazon are often name-dropped), and e-commerce (Shopee and Lazada, for example), among others. But as a rule of thumb, remember that these companies are highly unlikely to reach out to their customers via prepaid or postpaid mobile numbers. Either way, it pays to verify the messages you receive by reaching out to these companies via social media, email, or their dedicated hotline.

Report scam or spam messages.

Young Asian woman using her smartphone to report a text scam.

Reporting scam texts helps protect everyone and stops fraudsters in their tracks.

If you suspect that the message you received is part of a scam or falls under spam, you may report it immediately: to Globe via the #StopSPAM page and to the NTC via their Scam/Spam Report page. Support teams are assigned to respond accordingly by deactivating the numbers if proven fraudulent or involved in unlawful acts.

Aside from reporting scam texts, enhance your digital security by managing your postpaid plan or prepaid promos through the GlobeOne app. Keep safe and always be on the lookout for scams. On this front, Globe is working on new technology to help detect suspicious content, so you can keep your connections secured.

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