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Globe says 138M spam, scam messages blocked

GLOBE Telecom, Inc. announced on Monday that it blocked more than 138 million spam and scam messages from January to June 15 this year.

“The anti-spam blocking peaked in May, with 74.48 million total unwanted messages filtered out. The total figure includes app-to-person and person-to-person messages of both local and international origin,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.

The telco also reported that it deactivated 12,877 spamming mobile numbers during the same period.

“Many Filipinos were quick to adopt all things digital. Unfortunately, with the increase in adoption, the cybersecurity landscape has become bleaker. A lot of attacks have happened over the past 10 years but the pandemic has been a force multiplier,” Globe Chief Information Security Officer Anton Reynaldo M. Bonifacio said.

“This is why we have intensified even more our efforts to block spam messages through a stringent filtering system. We are also glad that the public has been vigilant, making use of our reporting portal to flag these unwanted messages,” he added.

According to Globe, the situation is not unique to the Philippines, noting that cybercrime is a global threat.

The company is investing in various tools to “proactively detect suspicious content on the Internet,” it said.

“Reporting tools and processes were also enabled for employees, customers, and partners to immediately capture customer concerns about fraud and scams.”

Senator Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares, who chairs the Senate committee on public services, has said she will refile her proposed law that seeks to thwart text scams by mandating the registration of subscriber identity module or SIM cards.

“Unless a law is passed, the bombardment of unwanted text messages will persist. We need more than band-aid solutions to these unrelenting scams,” she said in a recent statement.  

The proposed measure sets penalties for anyone who registers a SIM card using false information.

Ms. Poe said she intends to talk with her fellow senators in the incoming 19th Congress to “rally support for the measure to help expedite deliberations.”

According to Globe, the National ID system rollout should be completed for this proposed measure to be successful, “as we need a reliable and verifiable source of identification to lay the foundation for a credible database.”

“This is a critical component in ensuring mobile phone users are protected against text scams and crimes perpetrated in anonymity.” — Arjay L. Balinbin

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