ILOILO CITY, Feb. 6 (PIA6) - -What do you do when an anonymous SMS message soliciting load or money sent through an 11-digit prepaid number pops up in your mobile phone? How would you know that the message is for real or merely a hoax or scam?
Department of Trade and Industry-Iloilo Provincial Director Wilhelm Malones said in a press release sent to Philippine Information Agency that it is important to know how to detect text scam messages to avoid becoming a victim.
Malones warned the public against text scams such as these:
• The text message was sent through an 11-digit mobile number instead of a special three or four digit number.
A legitimate raffle or promo sponsors have a special three or four-digit code from cellular network providers that are used to register and notify participants through SMS.
• A subscriber has won a brand new car or big amount from a raffle contest sponsored by a particular company, a government agency or a foundation without joining one.
• A subscriber is asked to send a load or deposit a certain amount of cash as processing fee or tax payment prior to claiming the prize.
• A subscriber is rushed to claim the prize.
Legitimate sales promotions are required to give winners a sixty (60) day period from the date of notification or announcement to claim the prize/s. More importantly, winners of promos with prizes exceeding P500 are required to be notified through registered mail, and not through text messages alone according to law.
• Text scams use bogus DTI Permit Number.
Promo activities are required to have a permit from DTI, however, dubious text promos use bogus permit numbers to deceive subscribers. Consumers can verify the legitimacy of the promo through www.dtincr.ph or through DTI Direct 751.3330.
As he reminded the public to be more vigilant against dubious text messages, Malones also told them to never give their credit card numbers or immediately deposit money to a bank account or through money transfer.
DTI-Iloilo Business Regulation and Consumer Welfare Division Officer-in-Charge Felisa Judith Degala said to further strengthen their campaign against text scam, posters were distributed to schools and business establishments in the city and province of Iloilo.
The public can call DTI Iloilo at tel. nos. 335-0149 or 337- 0392 for their related complaints or queries. They may also report their complaints to the National Telecommunications Commission 6 at tel. no. 508-5353 and 320-2251. (JSC/LAF-PIA6 Iloilo)