Globe Telecommunications warned the public on Monday, May 9, about an ongoing text scam using the cellphone number of former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos.
“Globe received a report on May 8 that the mobile number of former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. was spoofed. Messages using the mobile number of Chairman Abalos were being sent indiscriminately,” Globe said in a statement.
“In a Facebook post, Abalos said he requested that his mobile number be suspended. Globe has taken immediate action to ensure the security of his account,” it added.
The company explained that spoofing text messages is possible with the illegal use of cell broadcasters. Using base station technology, these devices can detect active cellphones within a certain range and directly transmit SMS messages via frequencies that are sent from the machine.
“The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has given limited authority to use cell broadcasters for alerts and warnings during disasters and emergencies only. Unfortunately, these machines are being used illegally to spread disinformation,” Globe said.
“Globe reiterates its call on the public to be wary of messages originating from this illegal act, which targets legitimate mobile numbers to send out unauthorized SMS to multiple users,” it added.
The telco giant said that they have already sought the assistance of the NTC and other law enforcement agencies to stop the illegal use of cell broadcasters.