Saturday, December 24, 2016

Outsmart Fraudsters! Beware of Scams This Holiday Season

Wazzup Pilipinas!

It is no secret that scammers abound during the Christmas season. Whether it's because people are busy and easily distracted, or simply because traditions call for quick flow of cash in December, these scammers take advantage of the holidays, getting more creative in tricking unsuspecting victims to giving them their hard-earned cash or credits.

Smart Communications is once again reminding its subscribers to be extra cautious when dealing with unknown individuals. Be aware and keep your friends and loved ones informed about these common scams and trickeries. 

1. The Pretend Pasaloader. This scammer will pretend to be someone (usually an elderly who calls you iho/iha) who mistakenly transferred to your account some prepaid load or credits meant supposedly for his family member. He will then politely ask you to give back the load. The general rule is: Unless you know and trust the person, never ever transfer load. And keep in mind the official Smart Pasaload syntax. Remember that texting to access code 808 is for transferring load to another account. 

2. The Fake Promo Master. This one's a classic. This scammer will trick you into believing that you've won a raffle or a contest (without you even joining anything). He, usually pretending to be a lawyer or an officer from a government office or institution, will ask to be called and convince the victim to deposit money in order to process or claim the prize. Do not fall for this scam (even if he invokes high-ranking officials or present you with fake DTI numbers). For Smart promos, Smart only informs its winners through registered mail and a call from the number 7777 (not a text from a regular 11-digit mobile number) 

3. The Phony Roaming Relative. This scammer will first try to earn your trust by claiming to be your relative who just acquired a new roaming number. He will also try to bait you with promises of balikbayan box items, your favorite perfume, shoes in your size, and many more. Sooner, this scammer will try to ask you for load credits, and even cash deposits. Remember the rule: always confirm and verify before trusting a stranger speaking with you through SMS and chat. Ask your other relatives, or better yet, ask the relative they are pretending to be, through other means of communication (chat, social media, etc.).

4. The Suspicious Seller. Aside from the common text scams, online fraudsters are also tracking activities and posts of interested online shoppers, especially in social media accounts of online stores. They will gather the information you post through inquiries and purchase intent and use these information to pretend to be the seller, communicating the victims through fake chat profiles. Be sure to transact ONLY through the official store or online channel. Check their contact infromation and always verify before sending the payment.

Remember, it's not a bad thing to be skeptical when receiving messages from people we do not know. Always examine and verify the identities of the people , especially when your money or credits are involved. You've worked very hard, and it's not wise to just give it all away to these scammers.

For more tips on how to detect text scams click here.

To report text scammers, click here.

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