Smart launches measures to protect its consumers

Smart Communications Inc., a unit of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), said it has instituted measures to protect its consumers against text message scams which are anticipated to rise during the Christmas season.

Jose Felicisimo “Wo” Rosete, Smart External Relations senior manager, said that the initiative implemented a customer education campaign to educate consumers about bogus schemes and it involves additional security features for its mobile load services.

Smart launched an education campaign early this year to inform subscribers about the modus operandi of scammers. Subscribers can learn more about scams and report scam incidents at www.smart.com.ph/smart2know.

Ramon Isberto, Smart public affairs head, the most common complaint involved was the Pasaload, it was a service that allows subscribers to transfer load credits to others.

“Scammers have been misleading our subscribers into transferring load credits to them, by saying the subscribers need to send a particular code to 808, our Pasaload number, in order to get prizes, refunds, discounts or free prepaid load,” Isberto said. “Then the scammers would sell this load to others. This is why we decided to institute additional security measures involving Pasaload,”he added.

Smart now requires subscribers to confirm Pasaload requests to make sure they are aware of the transaction. If subscribers send an SMS to 808, Smart sends a message informing them that they are about to transfer load to another person. Load will only be transferred once the subscribers send YES to 808 within 15 minutes.

The same security feature is now in place for Sun Cellular’s Give-A-Load transactions. If Sun subscribers do not confirm their Give-A-Load request within 15 minutes, the transaction request will expire.

“This is to ensure that subscribers do not transfer load unwittingly. With this additional security feature, we are expecting to further bring down cases of Pasaload scams,” Isberto said.

“Still we would like to remind our subscribers to be wary of strangers texting or calling them about rewards like raffle prizes. The general rule of thumb is, if you don’t know the person getting in touch with you and if that person or organization is using an 11-digit number, be extra vigilant,” he added.

Isberto also said that Smart continued to coordinate closely with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Philippine National Police to prevent modus operandi of scammers to the consumers.

Smart subscribers are encouraged to report scam attempts and incidents to the company by calling hotline *888 using their mobile phone or sending a message to the @smartcares Twitter account. They may also report scammers to the NTC One Stop Public Assistance Center by calling 9213521 or 9267722, or sending an email to ospac@ntc.gov.ph

A registered nurse by profession, Michael is also a fresh IT graduate. He loves writing. As a matter of fact, he is a contributor to theblow.us, a sports website. As the editor-in-chief, Pabaon News will go the right path.