Oliver Bugarin 9 0 0 5 min to read

NTC joins privacy agency in an investigation into text fraud using users’ names.

To stop and identify the source of text frauds, particularly those that include the identities of their recipients, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is working with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) and other pertinent parties.

NTC consultant Edgardo Cabarios stated the NPC is in charge of the probe while the NTC works with telecommunications firms in a Laging Handa briefing on Friday (telcos).

“Mayroon pong nag-leak ng information, dahil mayroong pangalan at iyong telephone number? There has been a breach of information because the cell number comes with a name, even if it is just a random phone number that we can tell you, right? However, there is a name),” Cabarios added. “If it’s simply a number, we may argue it was random.

The recipient’s name and a link that, if opened, would expose more personal information are both included in these text frauds.

Cybercriminals might access a person’s bank account or other sensitive information using these pieces of personal data.

He claimed that contact tracing data acquired by many organizations at the height of the coronavirus outbreak is one potential cause of the leak.

He claimed that the NPC had examined this issue and determined that it was improbable that such information originated from contact tracing data.

However, he said, “Potentialidad ho iyon kasi naroon iyong information, naroon iyong telephone number, naroon iyong pangalan mo” (However, it is possible because the name, contact information, and information are all present).

In response, he stated that by educating the public and bringing cases against those found guilty, the NTC and other pertinent government organizations, including the Department of Information and Technology (DICT) are trying to stop further losses.

“To prevent these, there are warnings given by the NTC to decrease or zero out the number of victims,” he said. “Iyong maloloko po ay iyong ginagawa na po ng Komisyon para mabawasan o talagang mawala na po iyong mga maloloko.”

He added that the NPC, the Department of Trade and Industry, law enforcement organizations, and other pertinent parties are collaborating with the DICT’s Cybercrime Investigation Coordinating Center (CICC) to maintain a database of text scams and their victims to support investigations.

However, he added that telcos still block suspected scammer calls and messages and blacklist their mobile phones.

“The difficulty is that it’s incredibly simple to get a prepaid SIM card,” he said. “Subscriber identity module (SIM) cards are very easy to obtain.”

He claimed that mandating SIM card registration will benefit in both reducing such scams and identifying cybercriminals.

It’s a phony ID, baka gumamit. Okay then, since the aforementioned law enforcement organizations may utilize a phony ID, this is possible. That’s okay since it will give us a place to start when looking into law enforcement agencies),” he said.

He urged people to never reply to texts that came from unfamiliar or dubious numbers, especially those that requested sensitive personal information or advertised incentives or awards, in order to help stop such frauds.

The growth of unsolicited SMS scams from unknown numbers, some of which include the identities of their recipients, was the subject of an investigation launched by the NPC on Thursday.

Telecommunications providers met with the privacy body on the same day, and they agreed to strengthen their technological and security measures against such scams.

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