Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Smart Backs Gov’t Call for Stakeholder Alliance to Protect Customers vs Scams

Leading integrated network PLDT Inc (PLDT)'s wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc (Smart) steps up efforts to protect customers against scams and frauds amidst the continued proliferation of smartphone-aided scams. Smart also called on the Government to exercise oversight on the legitimate use of cell site simulators, which are used by scammers as ‘fake cell towers’ for sending out text scams to mobile users.

"We remain steadfast in our commitment to work with the Government and other industry stakeholders in intensifying efforts to help safeguard our customers against mobile phone-aided fraudulent activities, such as phishing, fishing, and SMShing," said Atty Roy Ibay, head of Regulatory at Smart.

Last year, Smart, along with other telcos and the National Privacy Commission, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to ensure customer data protection, especially against digital fraud and other cybercrimes. Smart has also teamed up with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) in the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of scammers.

As part of ramped-up efforts to help protect its customers from scams, Smart has likewise stepped up its education campaign, continuously reminding subscribers to be #CyberSmart.

In particular, Smart has warned its subscribers not to click links in unsolicited SMS, highlighting the need to exercise vigilance to avoid falling prey to all types of phishing. This is in the face of the rise of vishing and quishing, which are done via voice calls and QR codes, respectively.

Smart also continues to remind customers that its legitimate domain is https://www.smart.com.ph and any other iteration is fake. The telco company also reiterated that Smart does not ask for payment details to redeem rewards points and such redemption can only be done via the official Smart App.

In the first quarter of the year, Smart has blocked more than 13 million SMShing messages and blacklisted almost 200,000 mobile numbers involved in phishing activities.

Customers who receive suspicious messages or calls may report them to cybersecurityincidents@smart.com.ph or to Smart’s verified and official social media pages - Smart Communications on Facebook and @SmartCares on X - or call Smart's hotline *888.

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