PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has expressed its continued support for government measures such as the SIM Card Registration Bill to ensure consumer protection.
This comes as Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate public services committee, urged members of the incoming 19th Congress to immediately pass the measure to effectively prevent text scams.
“As a longtime advocate of consumer online protection, Smart has been actively implementing initiatives to keep our customers safe, especially from scams and fraud,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT Inc and Smart Communications President and CEO.
“We are always ready to support the legislative process. We welcome any opportunity to contribute to the success of the SIM card registration bill and support the government in developing its implementing rules and regulations,” Panlilio added.
Smart and parent company PLDT have been actively working with government and regulators for consumer protection.
Through their Cybersecurity Operations Group, PLDT and Smart actively fortify and ensure the resiliency and sustainability of their cybersecurity systems, which is fundamental to the PLDT group’s broader program to elevate the quality of customer experience by protecting them from cyberthreats.
Reinforcing efforts to prevent malicious messages from reaching customers, PLDT and Smart recently blocked more than 23 million SMS containing three URLs identified as phishing sites.
This latest clampdown on ‘smishing’, or cybersecurity attacks via text messages that aim to steal the victim’s personal data, expands PLDT and Smart’s efforts to safeguard customers.
From January to May this year, PLDT and Smart blocked over 600,000 text messages linked to smishing, hoaxes and spamming. To further protect customers from these fraudulent activities, PLDT and Smart also blocked almost 78,000 SIMs related to smishing over the same period.
Meanwhile, between mid-February and May this year, PLDT and Smart also blocked more than 500 domains specifically linked to smishing, while the Group has further blocked more than 10,000 domains tied to phishing since July 2021.
PLDT and Smart have also put in place regular information dissemination and customer education campaigns to help subscribers identify red flags that indicate scams and fraud.
PLDT and Smart invested nearly ₱3 billion in cybersecurity infrastructure in 2021, to safeguard the public against emerging cyber threats and vulnerabilities, including online fraud and other criminal activities.