Smart, PNP Partner vs Script Scammers

The wireless unit of PLDT Smart Communications (Smart) said over the weekend that it is now working closely with the Philippine National Police’s cybercrime group and the National Cybercrime Investigation Bureau to put an end to the text scams that have recently been haunting the public.

Smart said in a statement that it supports the government-led joint investigation into telecom companies that will put an end to criminal activity.

“We have shared the results of our investigation with law enforcement regarding a deluge of fraudulent text messages that have haunted the public recently. What we need now is to work together to track down the scammers so they can be brought to court,” said Angel Redoble, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer at PLDT and Smart.

They said that after their crackdown on fake job offers found their way into some collectors, Redoble said the criminals had changed their attack method and exploited vulnerabilities on other platforms.

He explained, “What we have discovered is that the perpetrators are now managing the situation from person to person. By using prepaid SIMs that were opted in to the non-text promotions, they are blasting these messages without going through the aggregators.”

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For its part, Smart has stepped up the blocking of mobile phone numbers and domains associated with fraudulent activity. The company is also tracking the SIM distribution point that was used in the recent SMS attacks.

Redoble also reiterated the company’s support for the proposed SIM card registration bill.

“The proposed action will significantly impact the operations of criminals. They are already finding it more expensive to operate their method using prepaid SIMs due to our blocking efforts,” he added.

While waiting for the proposed SIM card registration bill to be passed, Smart is already exploring different platforms that criminals might exploit to run similar activities.

“Scammers are constantly evolving,” Redubel said. “It is important to be two steps ahead of their game to ensure customer protection.”

Smart said their efforts to detect and block malicious messages, including SIM cards and websites linked to fraudulent activities, are part of a much broader program to raise the quality of customer experience by protecting them from threats and attacks.

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