Senate investigation requested into the proliferation of spam and phishing messages

In an effort to protect consumer rights, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is calling for an investigation into the proliferation of spam and phishing text messages in the country.

Gatchalian said it was concerning that current spam and phishing messages have evolved to include the name of the recipient compared to the previous random transmission of messages.

“It is alarming that while major telecom providers claim to have already blocked a significant number of spam and phishing text messages, the issue continues to plague many telecom subscribers,” Gatchalian said.

The senator warned that the inclusion of the recipient’s name indicates a potential breach of consumers’ right to privacy, adding that the case raises concerns that their personal data has already been compromised.

According to Gatchalian, the national government, through the relevant agencies, must devise an effective intervention to stop the proliferation of spam messages containing information appearing to come from trusted or reliable sources and attempting to obtain sensitive information from a user. such as user name, passwords and credit card details.

In November 2021, an interagency group was established under the leadership of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) to address the issue.

But despite the existence of the inter-agency group’s initiatives to investigate the proliferation of spam and phishing messages, Gatchalian pointed out that the latest data reveals that the problem continues to be a concern for many users.

He also noted that in June this year, PLDT Inc. claimed to have blocked more than 23 million text messages in four days for trying to obtain consumers’ personal data. Another major telecommunications company, Globe Telecom, said it blocked more than 138 million spam and scam text messages over a six-month period from January to June this year.

“More interbensyon from kailangan gawin ng gobyerno para epektibong matuldukan ang ganitong mga gawain,” he added.

Norman D. Briggs