Globe has begun temporarily blocking text messages with website links from prepaid and postpaid numbers in order to ramp up its anti-spam and scam messages campaign.

The telecommunications provider made the announcement on Friday in response to numerous reports of scam and spam messages, including SMS from unknown senders that contain the full names of customers.

This new rule, which started this week, will stop all networks from sending person-to-person text messages with links that can be clicked, according to Globe.

Globe’s chief information security officer, Anton Bonifacio, explained in their statement that in order to protect customers, the company blocks access to malicious links in text messages.

“This time around, we’re blocking the actual message. If the SMS has a link of any kind, we are not going to deliver it, period. This is necessary to protect our customers,” Bonifacio said.

The SIM Registration Bill, which was approved by both Houses of Congress on September 28 and is anticipated to be forwarded to President Bongbong Marcos for signature, will not take effect until it has been passed and implemented, according to the leading digital solutions platform.

Globe deems this measure essential for enhancing the government’s ability to apprehend cybercriminals and other digital technology abusers. It will also enable telcos to safeguard their systems and customers against fraudulent activity.

“We are taking this measure for the security of our 92 million customers at Globe and 66 million more using GCash as we note how the modus operandi of fraudsters is becoming even more sophisticated. We hope this will make a major dent on various spam and scam SMS rackets,” said Bonifacio.

“This major step reflects our commitment to the country’s economic recovery by ensuring that the accelerated digital adoption does not expose customers to worsening cyber threats,” he added.

Globe has been working closely with lawmakers towards the crafting and passage of a rational SIM Registration law, providing inputs that aim to ensure the credibility of the system.

These include Globe’s call for an authentic and verifiable source document so telcos can cross-check the authenticity of a SIM holder’s identity, given the prevalence of fake IDs.

Globe also seeks amendment to a provision in the measure requiring telcos to store SIM registration data for 10 years from deactivation. Instead, Globe is proposing that telcos be mandated to instead keep historical data on registered prepaid SIM owners, as they are known to frequently change phone numbers.

It has been bolstering its efforts against scam and spam messages, blocking 784 million scam and spam messages from January to the end of July this year. Through a 24/7 Security Operations Center, Globe also deactivated 14,058 scam-linked mobile numbers and blacklisted 8,973 more within the same period.

Globe has spent $20 million or about ₱1.1 billion in capital expenditures to date to step up its capabilities in detecting and blocking scam and spam messages of international and domestic sources, including app-to-person and person-to-person SMS.

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