With the recent crackdown of text scams coming from both government agencies and local telcos, text scammers have switched tactics, moving on to aggregators as the new modus.
According to the National Privacy Commission (NPC), aggregators are now being used to send text scams. The agency has mounted a new probe to investigate the matter.
“Ang aggregator, for example, kapag gumagamit tayo ng Agoda o Booking.com, ganoon sila para sa telco. Mayroon silang listahan ng lahat ng telco, para kung kumpanya kayo, gusto niyo magpadala, gagamitin niyo yung platform nila tapos sila yung magpu-push sa mga telcos,” said NPC Deputy Commissioner Leandro Angelo Aguirre.
Basically, SMS aggregators are applications that allow for the bulk sending of text messages, usually in huge volumes. They have a direct connection to telcos that allow organizations to push SMS to subscribers.
Aguirre noted that identifying scammers that use SMS aggregators is easier, as these supposedly have sender IDs. He added that SMS sent to aggregators can be identified and located.
However, Aguirre adds that the challenge lies in identifying sources of the text scams because the problem is a global issue. There’s also the possibility that aggregators’ official accounts or platforms were hacked.
Both Smart and Globe have moved to block clickable links to malicious sites on SMS messages. As a result, some of the text scammers include instructions to input the URL on a browser to access it.
If you have received a text scam or have been a victim of one, you are encouraged to report it to NTC, Smart, and Globe.