“Just don’t reply to these texts.”
This was the foremost measure proposed by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in Bohol amid the tide of text message scams spread by tricksters preying on mobile users.
“If you reply to these texts, they will find a way to get money from you,” said NTC Bohol officer-in-charge Engr. Dennis Rocamora.
In an interview with dyRD Action Line’s Fred Araneta, Rocamora bared that text scams are mostly sent through regular cellular phone numbers.
“If only a phone number appears, that’s definitely a scam,” Rocamora said. “If you receive messages from providers and it would appear that it was sent from Globe or Smart, that’s not a scam.”
Swindling messages include raffle prizes while other mobile con artists guise themselves as relatives asking for money or cellphone load credits.
Several Cebu residents have fallen prey to these scams, said Rocamora.
“One victim sent money, but after that we couldn’t trace it anymore,” he added.
In most cases, after having swindled money out of victims, suspects immediately dispose of their SIM card and replace it with a new one.
“SIM cards nowadays are very cheap. You can buy at BQ for P10 to P15,” Rocamora said.
According to the NTC official, Sen. Panfilo Lacson previously moved to have pre-paid SIM cards registered but the legislator’s proposed measure was met with opposition from the telecommunications industry.
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“That’s why now, it’s difficult to trace pre-paid [SIM cards],” he said.
Recipients of fraudulent text messages can report the incident to the NTC office which in turn would deactivate the SIM card of the sender.
However, the NTC has no authority to trace the scammer unless a court order is issued. (Allen Doydora)