PLDT, Smart join PNP, NBI in tracking down scammers who use texts to steal your data

Smart Communications is stepping up efforts to fight scam texts which have proliferated in the past weeks.

In a statement, PLDT and Smart first vice president and chief information security officer Angel Redoble said they were closely working with the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group and the National Bureau of Investigation Cybercrime Division in tracking down people behind these unsolicited, unwanted text messages.

“What we need right now is to work together to track down the scammers so they can be brought to court,” Redoble said.

Smart, for its part, has intensified blocking mobile numbers and domains tied to the fraudulent activity.

The leading mobile phone giant is also tracking down the point of distribution of SIM cards that were used in recent smishing attacks.

Redoble reiterated the importance of the proposed SIM card registration bill, which he said would “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,” he said.

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,” Redoble said.

He said 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-text promos, they blast these messages without going through aggregators,” Redoble said.