Text scams may be coming from outside the Philippines, says DICT

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According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), smishing and text scams that have been plaguing the public may be coming from sources outside the country.

“Our theory is that the source is not local. It just looks like the system looks automated,” said DICT Undersecretary Alexander Ramos. He also said that they are coordinating with their counterparts abroad for this possibility, noting that these cybercrimes are also happening in other countries as well.

The National Privacy Commission has already ruled out breaches as possible sources of the text scams. Ramos said that they are also looking into those buying SIM cards in bulk, to find out if they are being used in fraudulent activities.

It was earlier discovered that the names used in text scams were harvested from e-wallet and messaging apps, as well as local loan apps.

Both Smart and GCash have reiterated that their systems are secure. The latter has also anonymized the usernames in transactions to prevent bad actors from harvesting the information.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has also directed Smart Communications, Globe, and DITO Telecommunity to accelerate their efforts in addressing smishing and scam text messages.

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Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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