We are already aware of the Text Scams that have victimized (and victimizing, still) a considerable number of naive and gullible people. The NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) and government entities like the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have launched programs to educate the public and make the same aware of the dangers of falling prey to these unscrupulous characters.
Text Scams are SMS messages sent to unwitting mobile phone subscribers, informing the recipient that they’ve just won something (usually a cash prize) from some contest offered by some company. In that message, the recipient will be asked to contact a certain someone at some number so in order to get instructions on how to claim the prize. Once that phone call is made, details such as bank accounts and other pertinent private or financial information will be asked from the hapless victim as well as the need to cough up an amount of money, supposedly serving as “earnest money” to ensure the completion of the claim process.
Despite the crack down by the aforementioned entities, these Text Scams still proliferate. I just received one yesterday. Here’s the message:
Congrats!YourCelphone#HasWonHomePartner’s Win P4.5Million.on July.4,2007.Frm,(PCSO>DTI#2568 Subject2Claim Pls Call Atty.Larry C.Bajat Ds.09216949864
Please take note of the name and the numbers in this text. You may receive a message from them.
For me, there are only two “common sensical” ways to tell if an SMS message is a SCAM:
- The number that appears on your phone is a plain mobile number (i.e. 091x-xxxxxxx). These numbers are, most definitely, pre-paid numbers. Only STUPID scammers will dare send from a post-paid account.
- You didn’t join any contest, but you won anyway? A big amount of money, at that?! Which company will give away MONEY as prizes for FREE????
Now, if you, actually, joined some contest or promo, and you just can’t remember which, and you want to make sure that the text message MAY be a valid one… Do this:
- Don’t be ashamed of asking for details from the sender of the text message. Ask for the Promo Name, the Company behind the Promo, and most importantly, the DTI NCR PERMIT PROMO #. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) requires that companies must register ALL types of PROMOS involving prizes and special offers for the public. If, by any chance, the sender of the text message wants to push it, and gives you details such as the above, then you can check the validity of the DTI NCR PERMIT PROMO # thru DTI’s website (just type in the Permit # to verify) or thru text — Text : DTINCR<space>PERMIT<space><PERMIT NUMBER> and send to 2948.
Valid promo notifications via SMS are sent through special 4-digit telco access numbers like 2327 (Globe’s TxtConnect Access Number) or similar access numbers as provided by Smart’s Netcast and Sun Cellular’s TxtBlitz service. These access numbers are offered as value-add service to legitimate companies and entities and are monitored / regulated by the NTC.
If you have recently encountered these Text Scams lately, feel free to share them with us via COMMENTS.