Drowning in spam: The losing battle against text scams

I receive an average of 5 and 8 unwanted messages a day.

For many Filipinos, the constant barrage of spam and scam text messages is a daily nuisance. Like many, I find myself averaging between 5 and 8 of these unwanted messages a day. Despite blocking them using the Google Messages app, the fight feels increasingly like a losing battle.

It’s a losing battle

The irony is that this problem persists even after the implementation of the SIM Card Registration Law, which was completed in July 2023. This initiative, intended to prevent criminal activity linked to anonymous phone numbers, hasn’t translated into a noticeable decrease in text scams.

Moreover, news reports of local authorities seizing hundreds of thousands of SIM cards from raided POGOs highlight how easy it was for scammers to acquire them. They simply have the upper hand in terms of resources and technology.

Spam and scam text messages
These are all spam and scam messages

What we can do to stop it

The current options available to us are, unfortunately, limited and inconvenient. Blocking numbers is a tedious process, offering only temporary relief as scammers constantly switch tactics and numbers.

Changing your mobile number is a more drastic solution, but it is inconvenient with contacts and this necessitates updating your accounts on banking apps and e-wallets.

Spam and scam text messages
Scam messages promising instant cash

Reporting these messages to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), related agencies, and telecommunication companies like Smart, Globe, and DITO is another option. However, the reporting process itself is time-consuming, especially when dealing with a daily influx of spam.

You can refer to our post on what to do if you receive spam and scam text messages and how to report them.

What now?

The burden of tackling this problem cannot solely lie with us, the individual consumers. We need a more proactive approach from our government agencies. The NTC and other relevant agencies must step up their efforts to stop these scammers.

The complete eradication of spam and scam texts is an unrealistic goal. However, significant progress can be made. Filipinos deserve better than to be constantly bombarded with unwanted and potentially harmful messages. It’s time for our government to take a stand and turn the tide in this one-sided battle. We need a solution that protects citizens in the long run.

Image credit: Pexels

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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