PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) closely works with the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Cybercrime Division in putting a stop to text scams that have been hounding the public recently. Smart says it supports a government-led joint investigation involving telecommunications companies that will put a stop to the criminal activity.
“We have been sharing the results of our own investigation with law enforcers on the spate of fraudulent text messages that have recently hounded the public. What we need right now is to work together to track down the scammers so they can be brought to court,” said Angel Redoble, FVP and Chief Information Security Officer at PLDT and Smart.
After Smart’s crackdown on fake job text offers that found their way to some aggregators, Redoble said that criminals have shifted their mode of attack and have exploited vulnerabilities of other platforms.
“What we have discovered is that the culprits are now running the modus person-to-person. Using prepaid SIMs subscribed to unli-texting promos, they blast these messages without going through aggregators,” explained Redoble.
For its part, Smart has intensified blocking mobile numbers and domains tied to the fraudulent activity. The company is also tracking down the point of distribution of SIM cards that were used in recent ‘smishing’ attacks. Redoble also reiterated the company’s support to the proposed SIM card registration bill.
“The proposed measure will significantly impact the operations of criminals. Already, they’re finding it more expensive to run their modus using prepaid SIMs because of our blocking efforts,” added Redoble.
While waiting for the passage of the proposed SIM card registration bill, Smart is already exploring different platforms that criminals might exploit to run similar activities.
“Scammers are constantly evolving. It’s important to stay two steps ahead of their game to ensure that customers are protected,” said Redoble.
Smart’s efforts to detect and block malicious messages, including SIMs and websites tied to fraudulent activities, are part of a much broader program to elevate the quality of customer experience by protecting them from threats and attacks.