It’s alarming the number of comments I received about scam text messages promising big wins and instant riches! Out of hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people these scammers contact, I’m sure there are many people who fall for their scam.
Here is a sample scam text message:
CONGRTLTIONS!!! You Have Won 300th\Honda Jazz Last Jan 15, 2008. Ur Cell # as Home Partner winner. Call ds # 4details ds is GELBERT PEREZ of Phill,Com, Center.
One visitor explains:
recently this janice sanchez texted me and infomed me that i won a 300k and a toyota hilux and she told me to call mr. jaime khan of sparco international company, and when i verify it they ask me to send them money tru western union for the registration and insurance policy.and when i ask them to give me their email add or web site they have no add to give.
Most visitors found their way to my article “Panalo o Panloloko” by searching for names in the text messages. Which brings me to the topic of that article.
Smart and the National Telecommunications Commission launched an awareness campaign to help Pinoys distinguish between legitimate text and scam text messages. Where are they with that campaign? Does the campaign include actual apprehensions of scam artists?
Here are some questions to ask to help identify a scam:
- Does the message come from “09xx-1234567” cell number?
Be wary of any contest winner announcements from a private number. Telcos announcing winners will use a short-code (3 or 4 digits only) or will call you from a short-code number.
- Did you, in fact, enter any raffle?
It doesn’t make sense to win in something you didn’t join.
- Did the message ask you to send money before claiming the “grand price”?
That’s the ultimate giveaway. Don’t ever surrender your money if you are unclear with what it is for and what you’ll get in return. Even after explanations, make sure you probe, ensure the identity of the person/company and the legitimacy of the “raffle”.
- Are the company names, telephone numbers, contact names legitimate?
When in doubt, verify! Just like the people who left comments on my blog. Good thing they searched and found out about the scam.
I wonder what it will take to catch the crooks behind this scam. Is this a job for Mike Enriquez, the Tulfo Brothers, the Kung-fu Kids? Or isn’t this a job for the NTC or NBI?
Calling-calling-1-2-3, who wants to catch a crook? Entrap these crooks, would you?