Safeguard against spam: GCash now masking users’ full names for money transfers

GCash has introduced a major change in its interface amid the proliferation of spam text messages featuring its users’ first names.

Instead of seeing a person’s legal name and the first letter of their last name when transferring money using a person’s GCash number, one can only see the first, second and last letter of a person’s given name, plus the first letter of their last name. The rest of the characters are hidden behind asterisks.

This cosmetic change happened after the National Privacy Commission found that spammers were able to automate the harvesting of names from GCash and use these to personalize spam messages sent to mobile users.

The Ayala-owned e-wallet recently stopped sending text messages to notify users about transactions. The messages will instead be forwarded to the app’s inbox.

Globe Telecoms also said it has also been relentless in blocking numbers sending spam texts, and will cooperate with authorities in addressing the issue.