Tips on how to detect a ‘text scam’


By Anna Valmero

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA – Aside from phishing scams on Facebook, uninformed Filipinos also fall prey to text scammers who solicit prepaid cellphone load and money by posing as legitimate promos.

Here are five simple steps advised by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to detect if a text message is bogus or a hoax out to victimize users.

Use of an 11-digit mobile number instead of a special three- or four-digit number to announce that you have won a huge sum of money in a text promo where your number is “luckily” drawn. Legitimate raffles or promo sponsors have a special three- or four-digit code from cellphone networks that are used to register and notify participants via text.

Winning a raffle even without joining one is a big red sign to know that a message, which states that a subscriber has won a brand new car or millions of peso in a raffle by a government agency or a foundation, is bogus.

A subscriber is asked to send a load or deposit a certain amount of cash as processing fee or tax payment before claiming the prize. Never give credit card numbers nor deposit money to a bank account or through money transfer.

A subscriber is rushed to claim the prize. Legitimate sales promotions are required to give winners until 60 days from the date of notification to claim the prizes. Winners of promos with prizes above P500 must be notified via registered mail, and not through text messages according to law.

Text scams use bogus DTI permit numbers. Dubious text promos use bogus DTI permit numbers to deceive subscribers. To verify if a the promo is legitimate, visit or contact DTI Direct hotline at (02) 751-3330. Complaints can be reported to the National Telecommunications Commission

at (02) 921-3251 or 926-7722 or email

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