Telcos campaign vs job hiring fraud

Published November 24, 2021, 4:11 PM

by Emmie V. Abadilla


Cybercriminals now target job hunters, according to local telcos.

“The recent SMS spamming activities are specific to job hiring,” says Angel Redoble, PLDT and Smart Communication Inc.’s Chief Information Security Officer.

He likened the scheme to ‘digital pyramiding’.

“If mobile users open the link from the scam text messages, they will be redirected to the WhatsApp platform, in which they will be offered an attractive salary package, ranging from P500 to P10,000,” Redoble explained.

Misled users are first prompted to provide their personal information and to open an account in a platform managed by the scammer.

In this channel, interested job applicants are lured to deposit cash, from which they will be receiving a percentage as commission.

However, once the investments have added up to huge quantities, the individual will no longer be able to withdraw his or her commission pay and will be notified to access the Telegram app for cash transactions in bigger amounts.

PLDT and Smart have designed Indicators of Compromise (IOC) to identify such malicious activities and to address potential cyber threats to the network.

Through a multiple-layer blocking system, CSOG protects subscribers by flagging mobile numbers, domains, and IP addresses that the system finds threatening.

As this new modus is proving to be a novel phishing scam, the PLDT Group advises the public to follow a number of precautionary measures to avoid becoming fraud victims.

“If you receive these kinds of messages, do not follow the links because their company is not hiring people, and it is most likely a scam. You have to be paranoid with every suspicious email, link, or text message, as scammers not only take your information but also your hard-earned money,” stressed Redoble.

“This is not just a spray and pray operation. It’s well-organized, targeted, and is apparent in other countries as well,” he added.

In the same way Globe Telecom Inc. also cautioned its customers not to respond or engage text messages received involving promos, job offers and other unsolicited products and services.

This elaborate scam is likely run by a global crime syndicate, and not unique to the Philippines, Globe confirmed.

Globe continues to heighten its anti-spam and anti-scam campaign through a dedicated cybersecurity team that deactivated 5,670 spam numbers and blocked close to one billion spam messages this year.