PLDT and Smart Communications are reminding their customers to be vigilant against online fraud and phishing attacks. These are some of the most common cybercrimes that target mobile users and attempt to steal their personal information.
Phishing is a form of social engineering, where criminals impersonate legitimate companies or organizations and send out messages or calls that lure customers into clicking on malicious links or revealing their sensitive data. Phishing can be done through text messages (SMShing), voice calls (vishing), or emails.
According to Angel Redoble, FVP and Chief Information Security Officer of PLDT and Smart, social engineering is the most popular tactic used by cybercriminals. He urged the public to adopt a cybersecurity mindset and double-check the messages and calls they receive before opening any attachments or clicking on any link.
“Social engineering remains the most common tactic used by criminals to lure customers into giving up vital information. There is no silver bullet to fighting cybercrime. We strongly urge our customers to adopt a cybersecurity mindset to avoid falling prey to scams and fraud,” he said.
To help customers spot and avoid phishing scams, PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) shared some CyberSmart tips that can be easily remembered by the acronym – SCAM.
- Sender is unknown. Never answer calls or open emails from persons and entities you don’t know. Scammers often use regular numbers contrary to custom sender IDs used by private companies. They may also contact you through online messaging platforms. And always remember that legitimate bank representatives never ask for one-time password (OTP).
- Compelling reason to act immediately. Phishing messages often rush you to click on the link to avail of the special promo or limited offer.
- Attention-grabbing offers. Scammers often promise financial rewards or too-good-to-be-true promos to bait potential victims.
- Malicious link. Whether sent via SMS or email, these messages are often accompanied by a link that leads to a phishing website.
PLDT and Smart have been intensifying their efforts against criminal activities facilitated over wireless services. They have seen a seven-fold increase in monthly blocked SIMs from under 5,000 in 2020 to more than 35,000 as of July 2023. In July alone, they blocked more than seven million phishing messages.
The efforts of PLDT and Smart to drive relevant cybersecurity information on scams and fraud are fundamental to the PLDT Group’s much broader program to elevate the quality of customer experience by protecting them from threats and attacks.
If you receive suspicious messages or calls, report them to email@example.com.