New text scams can bypass local telco networks, group warns

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The Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators (PCTO) issued a warning to Filipinos about a worrying trend: scam messages that bypass local cellular networks.

These messages evade security measures like SIM registration and network filters by using alternative methods. One tactic involves chat apps, Rich Communication Services (RCS) for Android users, and web-based messaging platforms. This allows scammers to target Filipinos directly using foreign mobile numbers.

Another method involves “IMSI catchers” or fake cell towers. These portable devices mimic real towers, enabling fraudsters to send messages within a specific area. This “spoofing” technique allows them to impersonate official accounts and bypass network security.

“Industry players and key stakeholders must work closely together to combat this trend,” said PCTO president Froilan Castelo.

Staying Safe

As always, the best defense against scam texts is vigilance. Here are some tips to protect yourselves:

  • Don’t click links: Avoid clicking on any links in suspicious messages, regardless of the platform.
  • Beware of unknown numbers: Be wary of messages from unknown numbers, especially those with urgent or tempting offers.
  • Never engage: Don’t respond to unsolicited messages. Engaging with scammers can lead them to exploit your trust.

By following these steps, you can protect yourself from these evolving scams. Remember, you are your first line of defense against mobile fraud.

Source: PNA
Image: Unsplash

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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