Job offers

NPC probes reports of spam text messages on sketchy job postings, free money offers

Screenshots by Interaksyon | Photo by Dean Moriarty via Pixabay

Several Filipinos said they had received text messages about incomplete job postings promising high wages in the past few days.

They spread these complaints by sharing screenshots of these posts on social media.

Online users also suspected that their phone numbers might have been leaked from contact tracing forms and applications required when entering establishments.

“What did we get from all those contact tracing forms?” Random recruitment texts which are most likely scams (eyeroll emoji), ”another Twitter user wrote.

“My contact tracing phone number is now inundated with text messages. This is why you cannot trust the government or anyone else with your information, ”said editor-in-chief Jing Garcia.

Blogger Noemi Dado was among those who shared screenshots of the messages she received.

“Ugh so many spam messages about the money. Did they get my number through contact tracing? ” she asked.

Screenshots showed that the messages sent were offers of high wages for work from home or part-time jobs.

Senders ask recipients to visit the links to take advantage of the job. Most of them were links to a WhatsApp channel.

One of the messages read, “Earn P300 to P1,500 per day. You can earn money working part time from home with just a mobile device.

Media reporter Jules Guiang also said that he recently received at least ten text messages from random numbers.

“Sober disturbing with at least 10 messages from random numbers offering job opportunities or products to sell. Wala namang ganito before the pandemic. How to find contacts? Kayo rin ba nakakatanggap?” Guiang noted.

He has attached copies of some of these texts under his tweet.

They offered similar details of a part-time position with salary P2,000 and above.

Photographer Jilson Tiu, meanwhile, said the texts he received appeared to have been sent by Chinese robots.

Others deplored that the communication of their personal numbers constitutes a violation of their rights to data confidentiality.

“I got a lot of text messages offering a lot of stuff, #NTC should take this seriously. I guess they got my number from the contact tracing forms. Baka binebenta na natin data. #DataPrivacy “, a user noted.

The NPC’s response

When asked to comment on these reports, the National Commission for the Protection of Privacy said they are currently investigating the increase in unsolicited text messages.

Roren Chin, head of the NPC’s Information and Public Assistance Division, said via Viber that the NPC did not yet have sufficient information about the incidents.

“We are reviewing these reports, but not enough information, at this time, to attribute or link the growing concerns about unsolicited texting to scratching or violating contact tracing forms / applications. We also conduct privacy checks to verify compliance with DPA requirements, ”Chin said.

“Privacy Sweep” refers to a method of verifying compliance. with respect to its obligation under the DPA, and its related broadcasts based on publicly available or accessible information, such as, but not limited to, websites, mobile apps, raffle coupons, brochures and privacy notices. This is the initial method of verifying compliance, ”she added.

Any type of personal information must be protected under the Data Protection Act 2012.

In section 3, personal informations is defined as “any information, whether recorded in a tangible form or not, from which the identity of an individual is apparent or can be reasonably and directly verified by the entity holding the information, or when ‘it is associated with other information, would directly and certainly identify an individual. “

On the other hand, the sending of spam or unsolicited SMS is prohibited under the Cybercrime Prevention Act 2012.

In section 4, it was stated that:

“The transmission of commercial electronic communications with the use of a computer system intended to advertise, sell or offer for sale products and services is prohibited. “