The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and local service providers issued statements before on how to avoid mobile phone-related scams. While there are still a number of bogus SMS scams, NTC together with our local telcos, informed the public that verifying legitimate promotions always starts with an official call from the network’s representatives and an SMS usually sent by a four-digit sender. Looks like this process has been covered up by this new modus operandi.

When In Manila blogger Cheryl Golangco shares her experience with a guy who called and introduced himself as a Globe Telecom’s representative using a prepaid number 09152993827.
Like any other bogus transactions, the call went on smoothly saying that Globe is giving away P500 worth of SM gift certificates to the network’s postpaid subscribers. The caller then told the blogger that she’ll receive a PIN to verify their conversation. A text message coming from 2800 came in next containing the said PIN. She was then told that there will be a total of five text messages each containing different PINs that she’ll have to dictate to the caller for further verification. All these messages came from 2800, the access line of Zong.

I personally made a research as I am not familiar with Zong, the company behind this 2800 access number. Per checking, Zong is a mobile payments service for online games and social networks.’ It’s a ‘payment platform [that] lets you buy goods from games and social networks through your mobile phone – stuff you buy is added to your phone bill or deducted from your prepaid plan.’

The blogger soon found out that it’s indeed a scam after the caller asked her to write down the reference number: 29152993827. Notice that it is similar with the caller’s mobile number. For Globe users, you know what’s bound to happen – sharing a load. Golangco hang up and immediately reported the incident with Globe. That’s where she confirmed that she was just scammed.

This scam may not be targetting only Globe postpaid users as the Zong’s mobile payment service may be available as well in Smart and Sun’s network. Zong may not be directly involved as well in this modus operandi as the culprits are only using their service to get money from their poor victims. But the point here is, these evil-minded people are getting smarter and creative. We, consumers, should be more vigilant and keen in avoiding similar and future ways of scams. And for our government? They should really act on these scams more than informing the public on how to avoid it. Maybe the SIM card registration should be put into action? What do you think?

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Fjordan Allego
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By Fjordan Allego

Fjordan Allego aka Fjordz is an IT security practitioner in the Philippines. He maintains a couple of blogs where he shares his views on various topics that he finds interesting. A self-confessed introvert who's mostly active in social media, Fjordz also loves to travel and explore the wonders of the world.

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