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Smart tips vs cell phone scammers

/ 03:10 AM December 23, 2015

EVERYONE’S busy with Christmas parties and shopping, and scammers are working double-time to trick consumers into parting with their money, or in the case of mobile phone users, their load or airtime credits.

Here are tips from Smart Communications and Sun Cellular on how to protect yourself against scammers:

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Beware of people offering assistance in getting Smart and Sun postpaid lines. Just recently, a man calling himself Gary Cruz has been posing as a Smart representative and offering to help people get Smart postpaid plans online. He communicates with his victims using a Facebook account and e-mail addresses like [email protected] and [email protected] He asks them to send him money through payment centers, in exchange for what he claims are approved postpaid applications.

This Gary Cruz is not a Smart employee, and his e-mail addresses are not connected to Smart in any way. If you wish to apply for a postpaid line, please do so via official channels like Smart Stores and Sun Shops, as well as the online store in the official Smart website (smart.com.ph). You may also call *887 using a Smart line.

Be wary of people asking you to send an SMS to 808 or 2292. The first is Smart’s official Pasaload number and the second is Sun’s Give-A-Load number. If someone tells you to send a text message to this number in exchange for prizes, refunds, discounts or free prepaid load, do not be fooled. You will only be sending your mobile credits to that scammer.

To protect subscribers, Smart and Sun now require them to confirm Pasaload and Give-A-Load requests to make sure they are aware that they are making the transactions.

Be extra careful when dealing with callers or texters using unknown numbers, especially when they tell you that you’ve won a raffle or promo that you did not even join in the first place.

Verify the identity of people claiming to be your relatives. Don’t just believe anyone who claims to be your relative from abroad who has a new roaming number. Get in touch with your loved ones through their old numbers to make sure.

Verify emergency claims. If someone calls to say your loved one has been involved in an emergency and needs money immediately, do not panic. Call your loved one to confirm.

Don’t share your phone’s pass code or PIN with anyone. Scammers who can get a hold of your device, even temporarily, can save their number on your phone’s Contacts list under a false, official-sounding name so that when they eventually get in touch with you about fake prizes, you would fall into their trap. Either that or they can use your phone to try to get money from your loved ones.

Do background checks on online sellers and people offering loans and investments over the Internet. Consult experts before making transactions.

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If someone claiming to be from your mobile service provider calls and instructs you to switch off your phone for software updates, do not comply. Scammers do this so your family would believe them when they say they abducted you, and that your loved ones must give money to get you back. If the scammers call you repeatedly to drain your battery, block their number and alert your loved ones.

If someone is trying to scam you, report the incident to Smart by calling hotline *888 using your mobile phone or sending a message to the @smartcares Twitter account. You may also report scammers using the National Telecommunications Commission’s website: www.ntc.gov.ph.

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