telecommunications companies

Globe temporarily blocks all texts with website links to fight spam messages

Russell Ku
Globe temporarily blocks all texts with website links to fight spam messages
Globe is also pushing for the passage of the SIM card registration bill, which is awaiting the signature of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – Globe Telecom is temporarily blocking all text messages containing website links to stop the recent spread of scam text messages, which have been including people’s names. 

“If the SMS has a link of any kind, we are not going to deliver it, period. This is necessary to protect our customers,” Globe chief information security officer Anton Bonifacio said in a statement on Friday, September 30.

The move would apply to all prepaid and postpaid numbers. 

Globe said they blocked 784 million scam and spam messages from January to July 2022. It added that it also deactivated 14,058 scam-linked mobile numbers and blacklisted 8,973 more in the same period.

GCash, an e-wallet service under Globe, earlier made the move to hide letters from customers’ names to protect them from text scams.

“We are taking this measure for the security of our 92 million customers at Globe and 66 million more using GCash as we note how the modus operandi of fraudsters are becoming even more sophisticated. We hope this will make a major dent on various spam and scam SMS rackets,” Bonifacio added.

The National Privacy Commission said on September 7 that the recent spate of scam text messages came from money and messaging applications that were used to harvest a user’s name associated with a specific mobile number. 

Push for SIM card registration

Globe added it has also been working with lawmakers in both houses of Congress for the passage of the proposed SIM card registration law.

“Globe believes this measure is vital to strengthen the government’s capacity to apprehend cybercriminals and other abusers of digital technology. It will also empower telcos in protecting their systems and customers from fraudulent activity,” it said. 

The House and the Senate ratified the bicameral conference report on the bill on Wednesday, September 28, with the measure awaiting the signature of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 

The bill would require SIM card users to register with their telecommunication provider by showing a valid government ID and other related documents before the card can be activated. 

An earlier version of the proposed law was vetoed by former president Rodrigo Duterte due to its provision on social media registration. – Rappler.com

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Russell Ku

Russell Ku is a digital communications specialist at Rappler, believing in the power of stories to build an empathic society. Outside of work, he dives deep into pop culture, especially the world of K-Pop.