Globe cautions vs OTT messaging scams amid intensified anti-spam campaign

As it continues to block millions of malicious messages sent over its network this year as part of its heightened cybersecurity and anti-spam efforts, Globe warned the public about the dangers of Over-The-Top or OTT messaging, which are sent through apps that are outside of telcos’ scope.

OTT messaging refers to the sending and receiving of messages over the Internet using content providers outside of a telco’s standard messaging networks. These include messages sent via apps such as Viber, Whatsapp or iMessage, which have message encryption.

As OTT messages use the Internet, they bypass mobile networks and evade SMS blocking.

“We have been successful in detecting and blocking hundreds of millions of illegal SMS sent over our network this year, although many of these scam messages are also sent via other messaging apps. The content of these OTT messages are encrypted and beyond the coverage of telcos,” said Globe Chief Information Security Officer Anton Bonifacio.

Bonifacio advised Globe customers to avoid responding or interacting with suspicious OTT or SMS messages that offer promos, employment opportunities and other unsolicited products and services. These are most likely elaborate scams run by global crime syndicates that operate in many countries.

He also encouraged customers to report scam messages through Globe’s spam reporting mechanism on its website via the Stop Spam portal. The reporting form is also available on the GlobeOne App, Globe’s Facebook Messenger and all other agent-assisted channels.

Globe has been aggressively fighting spam and scam messages, blocking over 138 million of these messages from January to mid-June this year. It also deactivated 12,877 mobile numbers from January to May after being reported as spam through Globe’s reporting portal.

The company continues to strengthen its security tools and platforms to increase detection and blocking capabilities against illegal SMS and web blaster devices. Reporting channels and processes are also in place for Globe employees, customers, and partners to immediately capture and share information or concerns about fraud and scams.

Globe’s efforts against illegal SMS are part of its goal to protect technological innovations, which are critical to economic growth and development. This is aligned with its commitment to infrastructure and innovation targets under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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