Globe blocks 32.2 million SMS with clickable links in 2 weeks

Total blocked spam, scam messages reach 1.3 billion from Jan-Sept

Globe blocked over 32.2 million scam and spam text messages with clickable links in just two weeks after enforcing its unprecedented measure against all person-to-person SMS with URLs.

This figure covers September 28, when Globe started enforcing the stringent measure, until October 13. This means Globe blocked 2.4 million SMS with clickable links on average every day within that period.

“The amount of text messages with clickable links we blocked within just about two weeks shows the staggering number of spam and scam SMS that disrupt and threaten customers every day. This is empirical proof that our security measure was warranted,” said Anton Bonifacio, Globe’s Chief Information Security Officer.

Globe started blocking SMS with clickable URLs in the last week of September in response to growing concern over escalating spam and scam messages, particularly those containing mobile users’ full names.

The measure is a first in the industry, making Globe the first and only telco proactively blocking all person-to-person SMS with clickable links. It will remain in effect until the SIM Registration Act is implemented.

Meanwhile, Globe has logged a new record in blocked spam and scam messages, totalling 1.3 billion from January to end September. This exceeds the 2021 full year (January to December) total of 1.15 billion.

The monthly total of blocked SMS has also seen a steep rise of 295.74% over 9 months, from 68.34 million in January to 270.5 million in September.

Under the unprecedented new security measure, all person-to-person SMS with clickable links from all networks are blocked. This has forced fraudsters to find new ways to craft their scam messages, showing that the blocking measure has been effective.

“We reiterate our call on our customers to remain vigilant as fraudsters will continue to find ways to circumvent measures that aim to thwart them. Do not engage with SMS from anonymous sources making enticing offers,” Bonifacio said.

Globe has spent $20 million or P1.1 billion to date to step up its spam and scam SMS detection and blocking system. Its Security Operations Center, meanwhile, works round-the-clock to filter out these unwanted messages, including app-to-person and person-to-person SMS of international and domestic sources.

Globe also arms its customers with know-how to better protect themselves. Earlier this year, it released an instructional video on Facebook to teach Android users how to install spam filters on their devices. Its Digital Thumbprint Program, meanwhile, offers free e-modules on workshops where students, teachers and parents can learn how to be responsible digital citizens.

Globe also continues to operate its #StopSpam portal, where customers may report spam and scam messages they receive. Customer reporting helps Globe block more sources of spam and scam messages and contributes to the decline of these unwanted messages.

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