Saturday, 17 March 2012 00:00
In an effort to protect its subscribers from text scammers, Sun Cellular has issued a fresh warning regarding recent SMS-based scams that are made to look like promos of the mobile phone company.
“We advise the public to be especially vigilant as scammers are consistently coming up with new and creative ways of extorting load or money from unsuspecting mobile subscribers, particularly those using a postpaid line”, says Reuben S.J. Pangan, Vice President for Customer Relationship Management of Sun Cellular.
“While this type of fraud has been around for years and despite several announcements to the public in the past, it seems these have not deterred these scoundrels from trying to scam the consumer,” Pangan adds.
Pangan said that in recent cases the scammers introduce themselves as representatives of Sun Cellular, stating that the receiver has ‘won’ some sort of promo that make the potential victim eligible to avail of free items such as load, cash or service fee exemptions and discounts, among others. The message would then require a series of numbers to be sent to 2292, which causes the receiver to unintentionally send a specific amount of load to the scammer’s prepaid number.
The set of numbers “2292” is the short-code number for Sun Cellular’s “Give-A-Load”, which is a tool Sun Cellular subscribers use to send load credits to whomever they choose, usually relatives, friends or co-workers.
Another modus operandi of text scammers is to pretend to be relatives of a certain subscriber claiming to be in an emergency or accident, or badly needing load credits. The scammer may pose as a child or a spouse or a parent needing load credits.
“We advise that these instances be immediately reported to the NTC,” Pangan says. “Only with an NTC directive or a court order can we effectively disconnect a prepaid line with an active load. Unfortunately even if we do so, the scammers will simply buy a new prepaid SIM card and try to victimize others. So the public’s best defense against these scammers is to be vigilant and always check first if promos are legitimate.”
Subscribers are advised to refer to Sun Cellular’s ads on TV, print or radio for information on official promos. Sun Cellular also regularly posts such promos on their website (www.suncellular.com.ph), as well as on popular social networking sites.
To check the legitimacy of promos, subscribers may log on to Sun Cellular’s official Facebook page: facebook.com/suncellularph or on Twitter: twitter.com/suncelltweets.
Customers may also call Sun Cellular’s 24/7 Customer Service Hotline by dialing 200 from their cellphones.
Subscribers may report fraudulent text messages to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) through their hotline: 921-32-51.
Sun Cellular is a member of the PLDT Group.
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