PLDT intensifies campaign against text spam scams


The PLDT Group on Sunday said it has intensified its fraud protection and mechanisms by four times, claiming to “outpace perpetrators by aggressively blocking malicious domains and activating filtering systems that weed out spam messages.”

Angel T. Redoble, Chief Information Security Officer of PLDT and Smart, said the group has blocked 19,000 mobile numbers in November that are found to have been linked to a “global syndicate” that has been scamming Filipinos for the past few weeks.

Aside from this, the group has also blocked 5,693 user access to these sites and uncovered over 100 domains which are directly related and involved in the ongoing text spam scam.

“The cybercriminals have mischievously capitalized the high unemployment rate in this pandemic to make money. To avoid falling victims of financial loss, we urge the public to delete, block, and not click such too-good-to-be-true job offers,” Redoble said in a statement.

The government has linked the smishing scam to a global syndicate that offers Filipinos non-existent jobs that offer thousands of pesos in salary per day, asking them to deposit money to cash-out prizes.

Redoble said the group has also partnered with banking institutions, e-commerce firms, other telecommunications companies, and the government in coming up with a unified strategy to combat the scam.

“PLDT and Smart recognize how crucial data privacy has become, and we have convened with various sectors regarding the matter—a recognition that this issue requires a multisectoral approach. We assure the government agencies and other sectors that PLDT and Smart will take an active role in protecting Filipinos against cybercrime by strengthening our cybersecurity reinforcements,” said Leah B. Jimenez, the Chief Data Privacy Officer of PLDT and Smart.

PLDT and Smart said they respect their subscribers’ fundamental right to privacy and commit to safeguarding their personal data.

As stated in its privacy commitment, the PLDT Group will never rent or sell its subscribers’ personal data to third parties. When personal data is shared, it is done in accordance with the law or in special circumstances where the users have provided their consent.

PLDT said in March that it expects its telco core income to grow by about 6 percent to as much as P30 billion this year, driven mainly by the projected growth of its home, wireless and enterprise businesses.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, the company’s president and chairman, said the profit guidance of P29 billion to P30 billion is in line with the continued growth of the telco’s bottomline, as it continues to surmount the negative effects of the pandemic.

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