Spam, phishing peaked this month


Spam and phishing attacks tripled from June this year, with the month of November posting the highest number and 600 mobile numbers blocked on a daily average, according to the investigation units of PLDT and Smart Communications Inc.

“Potentially reflective of a global organized syndicate, this scheme uses sites for fraudulent transactions, which our units have already reported to authorized web-hosting services,” Angel T. Redoble, the Chief Information Security Officer of PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) announced Nov. 26, 2021.

Cybercriminals have taken advantage of the the ongoing pandemic to engage in SMS phishing, specifically targeting job seekers.

From January to November this year, the CSOG blocked an average of 758 scamming sites per month.

Sources of scam include SMS, spam emails received by employees, phishing sites reported by banks, and information acquired from threat intelligence operations.

The telcos warned the public to be wary of text messages, e-mails, and websites disguised as employment opportunities.

Mobile users should take fraud prevention measures to protect themselves from becoming victims of hoax.

“The first line of defense is awareness. Recognizing a scam and its warning signs helps users stay one step ahead of digital fraudsters," Redoble stressed.

With the surge in cybercrime activities, "It is most important that we stay paranoid of suspicious emails, links, or text messages across all our communication channels,” he reiterated.

Aside from blocking malicious domains, the PLDT Group’s cyber threat and cybercrime intelligence teams engaged the perpetrators to understand the operations behind this “interactive” modus.

In addition, PLDT and Smart partnered with government agencies - the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the National Privacy Commission (NPC).