Globe blocks 1.3 billion text scams in 9 months

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. has blocked a total of 1.3 billion text scams in the nine months to September after tightening its measures to protect its subscribers from digital fraud.

Globe yesterday said it blocked a record-high 270.5 million messages involved in spam and scam activities in September alone, as it tightened its security measures at the height of text frauds that try to dupe users into giving up sensitive personal information.

As such, Globe has blocked 1.3 billion in text scams, already exceeding by 13 percent its 2021 total of 1.15 billion.

Globe said the monthly total of blocked texts has risen by nearly four-fold when compared to the start of the year, from 68.34 million in January to 270.5 million in September. Further, the firm expects the October figure to reach the new highs again with the blanket ban on text messages with clickable links in place.

At present, Globe blocks all person-to-person texts with website links coming from all networks. In spite of this, fraudsters are developing new ways to circumvent Globe’s measure, with some asking their targets to open their online browser and type in a malicious site.

Globe chief information security officer Anton Bonifacio said the spiking number of blocked texts show that the mobile giant is ready to enforce the provisions of the SIM Card Registration Act.

“Globe’s data show that we have been blocking record numbers of spam and scam messages through our intensified efforts, most recently unleashing the stringent measure against SMS with clickable links,” Bonifacio said.

“This shows that Globe’s efforts have been paying off as we prepare for the full implementation of the SIM Registration Act, which was envisioned to give government and industry players a leg up in the fight against fraudsters,” he added.

Under the SIM Card Registration Act, SIM owners are required to register their mobile numbers with their respective telco providers within 180 days from the signing of the law. Telco giants, on their end, are looking into ways on how to best do SIM registration.

Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu committed that Globe will make its SIM registration not just hassle-free, but also credible for its 87.4 million users. Similar to how Smart Communication Inc. plans to do it, Globe eyes to use digital solutions in enlisting mobile numbers.

Globe has invested a total of $20 million, or P1.1 billion, in cybersecurity systems to strengthen its monitoring and blocking of text scams whether they come from here or abroad.

For the year, Globe has allocated P89 billion for its capital expenditures, including cybersecurity upgrades.

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