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Globe lauds NTC memo requiring telcos to block SMS with clickable links

Leading digital solutions platform Globe lauds the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) directive mandating telecom companies to block text messages with clickable links, a move aimed at reducing scams and fraudulent activities.

Globe was first to initiate this measure in September 2022, filtering out all person-to-person (P2P) SMS with clickable links within its network, a press release from the firm said.

“We praise and embrace the NTC’s directive. We at Globe recognize its significance in our shared journey towards a safer digital landscape. In line with this proactive step, we reaffirm our commitment to reducing scams and fraudulent activities, ensuring that every message sent and received is one of trust,” said Anton Bonifacio, Globe Chief Information Security Officer.

In a memorandum dated September 27, NTC Commissioner Ella Blanca B. Lopez highlighted the amendment of a memo released a year ago, grounded in public safety and the principles of fairness and equality.

The revised memorandum instructs telcos “to block or deactivate text messages containing clickable domains, URLs, URL shortening services links, Smart Links, and QR Codes.”

Unscrupulous individuals use such links to deceive recipients into revealing personal information, downloading malware, or incurring unwanted charges, often by impersonating trusted entities or offering false incentives.

As text scams continue unabated, Globe reiterates its dedication to collaborating with government bodies, especially the NTC, in the relentless campaign against fraud and other forms of cybercrime.

In response to rising concerns about increasing spam and scam messages, especially those revealing the full names of mobile users, Globe started blocking all P2P SMS with clickable URLs in September last year. This pioneering move positioned Globe as the sole telecom company to proactively block all such SMS at the time.

This measure boosted Globe’s proactive blocking efforts resulting in a total of 2.73 billion messages blocked in 2022, which covers all malicious and suspicious SMS blocked, including those with clickable links. Globe also deactivated close to 60,000 SIMs last year for unwanted messaging.

As of the end of September this year, Globe has blocked a total 2.59 billion spam and scam messages, deactivated 4,733 SIMs, and blacklisted 150,287 linked to SMS fraud.

Globe has also invested $20 million to enhance its spam and scam SMS detection and blocking mechanisms. Its 24/7 Security Operations Center remains vigilant, filtering out undesired messages from both international and domestic sources, spanning app-to-person (AP2) and P2P SMS.

Customers who receive unwanted SMS may report via Globe’s #StopSpam portal. Mobile users are also encouraged to install spam filters on their devices as an added layer of protection, the press release said.*

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