Police urge female students to be more careful opening text, social media messages
Female students should be careful when opening text and social media messages, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Sunday.
In an interview with dzBB, NCRPO spokesperson Lt. Col. Dexter Versola said that criminals who prey on women often use texts and social media messages to lure their next victim.
“We are always reminding them to be more careful with the messages they receive through mobile phones or on social media. This is their instrumentality to attract women. This is their modus operandi,” Versola said.
The Philippine National Police said they had recorded 149 crimes against female students from July 1 to August 31.
Raymond Liboro, chief executive officer of Privacy & Security by Design, told dzBB in a separate interview it is possible that text scammers are able to gather information through third parties called “data brokers”.
“These data brokers are legal companies that have formal relations with telecommunications companies (telcos),” Liboro said.
“The problem with these data brokers is that we don’t know how they collect their information for their database Of course, it should be done legally. That is what is stated in the Data Privacy Act,” he added.
Liboro, a former national privacy commissioner, said data brokers could sell information to clients to make their business grow.
Another way that text scammers spread text blasts is by using the SMS Caster software that automatically sends multiple messages and bypasses telco gateways, he said.
Liboro said to catch these text scammers, various government agencies should coordinate including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, PNP Cybercrime, Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
The Philippines should also coordinate with other countries so they can arrest them if they try to go abroad, he added.
He said the SIM Card Registration Law is not needed to keep illegitimate businesses from spreading text scams.
“You don’t need the SIM Card Registration Law to do that. You can mandate businessmen that need to use widespread SMS campaigns to register their numbers,” he said. Jaspearl Tan/DMS