The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Tuesday cautioned the public anew against fraudulent activities such as smishing or phishing scams using text messages urging users to click on malicious links.

In an advisory, the central bank warned against links being sent through messages as these could automatically download malware and/or redirect to websites that collect information which could be used for fraud.

“To help prevent this, the BSP advises the public to carefully scrutinize messages; to refrain from clicking links even if these appear to be coming from banks, e-money issuers, or known companies or brands; and to protect personal information,” the advisory read.

The BSP also reiterated that legitimate financial institutions will not ask for personal details and account credentials from their customers through text messages or by sending links to websites.

“While these websites may seem legitimate, fraudulent sites often have errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar,” it said.

“Banks, e-money issuers, and legitimate companies exert extra effort to maintain professional websites without such errors,” it added.

Local telecommunications firms in July said they have blocked millions of smishing messages — or text messages purporting to be from legitimate organizations with the aim of obtaining personal information — so far this year.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) last month also ordered telcos to blast public warnings against spam text messages, its third time to do so. It issued similar orders on May 27 and June 9.

Experts have also warned against spam text messages which offer high-paying jobs or announce raffle winners, among others. —Jon Viktor Cabuenas/KG, GMA News

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