Privacy body warns public vs ‘smishing’

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has warned the public against “smishing” or the unauthorized use of personal contact details for phishing through text messages.

National Privacy Commission commissioner Raymund Liboro

NPC commissioner Raymund Liboro issued the warning on Saturday, Oct. 9 as he expressed concern over the unauthorized used of personal information collected from contact tracing forms.

Smishing is defined as a form of phishing or a cybersecurity attack carried out over text messages.

Its victims are deceived into giving sensitive information by tapping or clicking on links sent via text messages.

In a public briefing, Liboro advised the public not to entertain text messages containing suspicious links from unknown contact numbers to avoid becoming a victim of such scheme.

“Huwag na kayo mag click o mag tap. I-block niyo na lang yung caller at magreport na kayo ay na-spam (Don't click or tap anymore. Just block the caller and report that you have been spammed),” he said.

The NPC has been reminding businesses and other establishments to protect the personal information collected through contact tracing forms, the official said.

He added that the agency has called on several local government units to strengthen their processes regarding the collection and storage of information from contact tracing forms.