DICT Says International Criminal Syndicate May Be Behind “Personalized” Text Scam

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy: “We are on top of it right now… This is more than meets the eye.”

DICT — The Department of Information and Communications Technology said that an international criminal syndicate may be behind the “personalized” text scams.

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy
Photo: DICT / Facebook

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy told the House Committee on Appropriations deliberating on the agency’s proposed 2023 budget that the department is working with international law enforcement agencies on its probe into the matter.

However, he requested an executive session with lawmakers to disclose details on the progress of the department’s probe, so as not to give away their strategy.

We actually have already initiated our investigation. We are on top of it right now… This is more than meets the eye. There are criminal syndicates really that are operating, and these criminal syndicates are international,” he said. “We are working not just locally, but with international law enforcement agencies on this regard.

READ ALSO: NTC Orders Telecommunications Companies Anew To Warn Public Against “Personalized” Text Scams

According to Uy, the department has formed a task force and is working to create a complaint center against scam text messages.

He also appealed to Congress to allocate intelligence funds to the agency in order to help address scams, among other issues. The department had an PHP 800-million intelligence fund in 2020 but no budget was allocated for this for 2021 to 2023.

Earlier, the National Privacy Commission said that the information being used by text scammers may have been sourced from scrapped or harvested data from online payments and messaging apps.

The NPC also vowed to protect the data of Filipinos as personalized scam text messages continue to rise in the Philippines.

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