Shield Yourself from SMS Scams: Your Guide to Staying Safe

Navigating the Minefield of SMS Scams: A 2023 Guide

avoid sms scams
Avoid SMS scams

In an era where our smartphones are extensions of our very selves, a new predator has emerged in the Philippines, preying on the unwary: the SMS scam.

These unsolicited messages, ranging from too-good-to-be-true offers to alarming alerts of non-existent winnings, have become a digital plague. Between January and September 2023, Globe Telecom has been a digital shield, blocking over 7 million bank-related spam and scam SMS messages, a significant decrease from the 49.3 million intercepted during the same period in 2022.

Scam messages are designed to panic you into action.

These messages, often random and from unknown sources, dangle bait in the form of products, services, promotions, and even job offers.

The more sinister ones concoct a scenario where you’ve won a contest you never entered. Despite widespread awareness, the trap still snaps shut on many.

Falling for an SMS scam can lead to dire consequences. Scammers use these messages to fish for personal information, such as one-time passwords, leading to unauthorized transactions, or personal details like your birth date, address, and bank account numbers.

However, there’s a silver lining. Both service providers like Globe and users themselves have powerful tools at their disposal to combat these threats.

Globe is ramping up its anti-spam efforts, and users can fortify their defenses by activating SMS spam filters and arming themselves with knowledge.

Learn the Signs of SMS Scams

To guard against SMS scams, scrutinize the sender, the message’s format, and its content.

Be wary of messages from private numbers, those littered with errors, or containing suspicious links.

These are the hallmarks of a scam.

Think Before You Click

Clicking on unknown links in text messages is akin to opening Pandora’s box; it can lead to security breaches or infect your device with malware.

No matter how tempting the message, ignore calls to action from unknown numbers.

Verify the Sender

Scammers often masquerade as representatives from well-known companies, such as banks or popular online platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Shopee, and Lazada.

However, legitimate companies rarely, if ever, contact customers through mobile text messages from standard numbers.

Always verify the authenticity of such messages by reaching out to the companies directly through official channels.

While SMS scams continue to evolve, so do the strategies to counter them.

By staying informed and vigilant, mobile phone users in the Philippines can protect themselves from falling victim to these digital predators.

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