Where do these text scams come from?


Have you ever or recently received an unsolicited text message that you’ve won a cash prize, a car, a travel package, a house and lot, or have a problem with your bank account, claiming to be from a company representative or human resource manager, offering you a part-time or work-from-home job that could help you earn tens of thousands of pesos per month by clicking the link attached? Don’t click the link, it’s a text scam! These messages you received are just some examples of ever-changing stories to try to rope you in.

Text scams are techniques that cybercriminals employ to persuade a person to part with their cash or personal information. They employ many techniques to make themselves look genuine, but these are simply lies created to deceive the unsuspecting. Scammers frequently attempt to obtain important information, such as your passwords, account numbers, or social security numbers, to access a variety of accounts. Any type of unwanted text message that asks for personal information regarding your identification, internet accounts, or financial resources is referred to as a text scam. Text scams in the Philippines are not new to many Filipinos for the reason that the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) businesses and consumers rely on the Internet and other forms of electronic communication to conduct transactions to protect everyone’s health and safety. These messages are sent by scammers in an attempt to obtain your money or obtain confidential information such as your passwords, bank account numbers, or social security numbers, to access a variety of accounts.

How did these scams get started?

Scams are a dishonest practice that usually involves tricking a victim into parting with money and results in the victim’s financial loss. According to Cummins, E. (2020), before there was Elizabeth Holmes or the Fyre Festival, there was this “Nigerian Prince” scam or also known as the “419” scam (the name comes from the section of Nigeria’s Criminal Code dealing with fraud). One of the very first scams on the internet to take off has a disgraceful past that precedes the digital era. Its origins can be traced to the notorious Spanish Prisoner” scam of the late 19th century, and the attack method has evolved from letters and faxes to emails and social media.  Nigerian scams entail someone contacting you from abroad and giving you a portion of a large sum of money pay-out in exchange for assisting them with money transfers outside of Nigeria. These frauds originated in Nigeria and they are now conducted all over the world.  

On the other hand, The Philippines, like other developing nations in South East Asia and elsewhere in the world, continues to struggle with the challenge of effectively combating the issue of unlawful cyber activity and cybercrime victimization. Filipinos and foreigners alike are not safe on either side of the fence, whether as a suspect or victims, due to the growth in internet fraud in the Philippines.

Text scams in the Philippines started to exist when increasing numbers of businesses and consumers rely on the Internet and other forms of electronic communication to conduct transactions. Additionally, as e-commerce sites boomed in the Philippines such as Shopee, Lazada as well banks, scammers and hackers began concentrating their efforts on online payment systems and e-commerce customers. The use of the internet in today’s generation is very useful in a way to reach a mass audience without a hassle, spending a lot of your time or money. Internet-based fraud schemes are often extremely difficult to track down and prosecute, costing people and companies millions of dollars annually.

 According to the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group in the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s, internet crime increased, more important than ever, from computer viruses to website hacking and financial fraud. Consumers and corporations can access a worldwide market through the internet. However, criminals are also aware of the advantages of the internet. The same frauds that have been carried out over the phone and through the mail are now also available online and through email, and new cyber scams are constantly being developed. It can be challenging to distinguish between trustworthy internet merchants and thieves that prey on unsuspecting victims online. By becoming knowledgeable about the warning signs of fraud, you may better protect yourself. It’s critical to report Internet fraud as soon as you become aware of it so that law enforcement authorities can put an end to the fraudulent activity.

How do frauds or scams specifically text scams in the Philippines happen?

According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the following are the reasons why   frauds and scams occur:

  1. False Representation

Fraudsters typically assume a false identity. To influence our innate desire to trust, they take advantage of people’s emotions. They share stories that appeal to our sensitive side as well as to our desires and aspirations. After that, they apply pressure-inducing techniques.

  • Phantom Riches

The prospect of immediate and guaranteed money is promised by con artists. The saying “If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is a scam.” is one that people frequently overlook.

  • Social Consensus

Fraudsters often make the assertion that others have already joined or made contributions to a cause, such as an investment opportunity, to gain more trust.

  • Source of Credibility

Fraudsters often make claims about their affiliation with prominent organizations or socialization to appear more credible.

Some consumers are concerned that the fraudulent SMS surge may have exploited the contact details they provided for contact tracing. The NPC reported that contact information for similar unwanted SMS messages that mobile phone users received last month was allegedly gathered via the COVID-19 contact tracing and health declaration forms. According to a statement made on November 23 by Privacy Commissioner Raymond E. Liboro, the NPC’s preliminary investigation showed that the present smishing actions were instead “controlled by a global crime syndicate, not by a group that has obtained unauthorized access to contact monitoring forms.”Liboro said that similar incidents have also occurred in India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan and added, “We realized that this is an extensive scam that is not unique to the Philippines.”

Where to report text scams?

  1. Report frauds, scams, and abuses relating to products and services of BSFIs* to BSP Online Buddy (BOB).


  • Go to https://www.bsp.gov.ph
  • Look for BOB’s icon on the lower right portion of the page.
  • Click BOB’s icon and a chat box will appear.

Facebook Messenger

  • Open the official BSP Facebook page
  • Click the Messenger icon
  • Click “Get Started”


  • Open your messaging app.
  • Text “Complaint” to 21582277 (For Globe subscribers only. Regular acknowledgment
  • Wait for acknowledgment and feedback prompt.

Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas

  1. Mabini Street, Malate, Manila 1004

Consumer Protection and Market Conduct Office

Strategic Communication and Advocacy

Email: [email protected]

Direct Line: (02) 5306-2584 | (02) 8708-7087

Trunkline: (02) 8708-7701 loc. 2584

Facsimile: (02) 8708-7088

*BSFIs refer to Banks, Non-Banks with Quasi-Banking Functions, Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations, Pawnshops, Foreign Exchange Dealers, Money Changers, and Remittances Agents, E-Money Issuers, Money Service Businesses, and Virtual Currency Exchanges under BSP supervision. A list of BSFIs may be accessed at https://www.bsp.gov.ph/SitePages/FinancialStability/Directories.aspx

  • Report fraud, scams, and abuses related to lending and investment with SEC-registered companies to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


Ground Floor, North Wing Hall, Secretariat Building

PICC Complex, Vicente Sotto Street, Pasay City 1307

Corporate Governance and Finance Department

(Reports related to Lending)

Email: Message

Telephone: (02) 8818 5476; (+63) 9260170248

      Enforcement and Investor Protection Department

 (Reports related to Investment Scams)

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: (02) 8818-6337; (+63) 961-519-7829; (+63) 961-684-4088

  • Report concerns about insurance products to:


1071 United Nations Avenue, Manila

Public Assistance and Mediation Division

 Email: [email protected]

 [email protected]

Telephone: (02) 8523 8461 to 70 local 103 or 127; (02) 8404 1758

  • Report investment scams, cybercrime, and other criminal abuses to:


NBI Building, Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila

Anti-Fraud and Action Division

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: (02) 8523 8231 to 38 local 3529 or 3456

Cyber Crime Division

Email: [email protected]

 Telephone: (02) 8523 8231 to 38 local 3455; (02) 8252-6228

Complaint and Recording Division

Telephone: (02) 8523-8231 to 38 local 3518


 Anti- Cybercrime Group

 PNP National Headquarters Camp General Crame, EDSA, Quezon City

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: (02) 3414 1560 Mobile: 0998 598 8116

  • To block text scammers, contact your phone service provider or report to:


      NCR office address: BIR Road, East Triangle, Diliman, Quezon City

      Consumer Welfare & Protection Division

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: (02) 8920 4464; (02) 8926 7722; (02) 8921 3251

Think before you click: it’s a scam. In today’s online world, the better advice is to think before you click. Anytime you receive unsolicited texts, it is advised that you do not click the links within them. Avoid falling for these new text scams Philippines, not only for our country but everywhere else in the world.

Aside from text scams, real estate scams exist in the Philippines.

It is the ultimate dream of many Filipino to own a dream house and lot. Some go so far as to work away from home and leave their family behind so they can buy a house for their loved ones. Over 2.2 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are employed abroad, according to information from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) 2013. Regardless of the circumstances, every OFW puts in a lot of effort. Sadly, many OFWs frequently fall victim to financial fraud and make financial mistakes that they should avoid. The best way to prevent real estate scams in the Philippines is to purchase your property from a reputed and reliable developer with experience building homes for Filipinos. If you’re looking for a real estate developer who can give you a high-quality house and lot in the Philippines, there is no better choice than Bria Homes: Your Home of Choice.

Bria Homes focused on producing affordable condominium units and house and lot packages that are geared toward common Filipino families who want to own their own homes. It had developed into the ideal option for typical Filipino employees looking for a home that is both high quality and affordable.