Telcos ordered: Cooperate in text scam probe
MANILA, Philippines — The National Privacy Commission (NPC) announced on Thursday night that it issued an order to the three telecommunications companies to cooperate with their investigation of the recent spate of personalized text scams.
The order directs Globe Telecom, Smart Communications Inc. and DITO Telecommunity to submit a comprehensive audit report to the commission including an examination of their respective distributor frameworks for their Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) cards.
“The Commission is proactively investigating the matter to identify the causes and implement all possible solutions to mitigate, if not eliminate, the threats and risks brought by targeted smishing messages,” John Henry Naga, privacy commissioner, said in a statement.
“Smishing” is the criminal act of sending text messages to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers, or to download malicious programs, such as ransomware.
The NPC said it wanted a detailed report including information on all the mobile phone numbers involved in the smishing messages.
Smart, Globe and DITO have been given a period of 10 days to comply with the order.
“As part of its next steps, the NPC will convene a meeting with representatives from the telcos and government agencies,” the NPC said further, citing in particular the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center, the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation.
The hearing is set on Sept. 13.
Meanwhile, in a memorandum dated Sept. 8, the NTC ordered Globe, Smart and DITO warn their subscribers against the proliferation of text scams through text blasts from Sept. 9 to Sept. 15.
The telco players were also instructed to ramp up the blocking of SIM cards that were found to be linked to phishing activities launched through mobile messages.
WATCH: Smishing: ‘Personalized’ text scams in the Philippines
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