Privacy commission in talks with telcos, e-commerce sites to combat scam texts

·1 min read

THE National Privacy Commission (NPC) has summoned the data protection officers of telcos, banks and e-commerce sites to report on their spam prevention measures to combat the recent surge of scam texts that have been soliciting and misusing personal information.

In a press statement Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, NPC called the attention of data protection officers of Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, Dito Telecommunity, Lazada, Shopee and several banks.

“We have summoned them to detail their current and future measures to combat smishing. Ultimately, we want to secure their commitment and focus on fighting these fraudulent practices so we can best strategize how to block these messages and protect our data subjects,” said Privacy commissioner Raymund Liboro.

Smishing is a phishing cybersecurity attack carried out over mobile text messaging, also known as SMS phishing.

Investigations

Liboro said based on the agency’s initial investigations, the recent smishing activities are run by a global crime syndicate, not by a group that has gained unauthorized access to contact tracing forms.

“If our initial findings prove true, that personal data is being exploited by criminals abroad, then this also becomes a matter of national security, which should compel government, the private sector and advocate groups to work hand in hand and take more concrete action to safeguard,” said Liboro.

The meeting, according to NPC, aims to keep stakeholders updated with the scam trends and exchange crucial information to prevent unlawful collection and misuse of personal data.

Moreover, Liboro reminded the public to remain vigilant and not open suspicious links.

“If from an unknown number, and with an offer that is too good to be true, it is most probably not true and is a scam,” he said.

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