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PUBLIC CYBERCRIME WARNING: Against Social Media Phishing Scams


The Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) is warning the public against the growing use of phishing in social media to access personal data and siphon off users’ money.

Phishing is a form of online fraud that involves stealing an account user’s personal data and gaining control of the user’s social media account. It is a cybercrime that is executed through popular platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

In a public cybercrime warning, CICC explained that social media users are being lured into divulging sensitive information such as account login credentials, personal information, and even credit card data. The information gleaned by the hackers can then be used to launch other scams and attacks.

CICC alerted the public that the most common modus operandi used by threat actors on social media involves the sending of fake messages claiming to provide account users a specific number of “followers” for the low price of ONLY 1,800 PESOS, and sold at a discount. Worse is that providing personal information and credit card number opens the door for hackers to withdraw funds from the account and/or to log on to the social media account and continue the scam across the list of followers.

The CICC issued the public cybercrime warning in reaction to the Philippine Star’s report on July 19, 2023 titled, “Phishing scams in Meta’s Threads’”, the new microblogging platform launched by billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta. The news report quoted that multinational cybersecurity firm Kaspersky warned regarding online phishing scams that are circulating in Threads.

CNN Philippines also reported the same in its article titled, “Threads imposters now rampant to prey on users, warns Kaspersky” that cybercriminals are taking advantage of a surge in popularity of Twitter’s main rival Threads. On its scale, the article mentions that on its launch early in July, Threads is amassing 100 million users, now seeing that scammers posing as Threads have already deployed “deceptive tactics” to cash in on the app’s popularity.

For more information and inquiries about this advisory, the public may kindly contact and use the Inter-Agency Response Center (I-ARC) Hotline 1326.

The role of the I-ARC Hotline 1326 is operational 24/7 and manned by trained professionals who can assist with a variety of scam cases. The hotline is also intended to prevent scams by answering inquiries about potential online threats. Extending beyond reporting scams, I-ARC serves as a resource to help scam victims recover their accounts and, in some cases, their money.

Apart from the main hotline 1326, victims of online scams can also reach the I-ARC through other numbers associated with different telecom providers: 0947-714-7105 (SMART), 0966-976-5971 (Globe), and 0991-481-4225 (DITO).

Issued by the Office of CICC Executive Director Alexander K. Ramos

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