Villanueva urges Privacy Commission to stop the ‘budol SMS scams’ that offer shady jobs

Villanueva urges Privacy Commission to stop the ‘budol SMS scams’ that offer shady jobs

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Joel Villanueva has asked the National Privacy
Commission to look into the “epidemic of ‘text scams,’” particularly
the kind in which cell phone numbers are barraged with job ads or

Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, described the
apparent “robo texts being blasted” to be the “forbidden fruit of a
data breach or data sale somewhere.”

He said social media has been flooded with complaints of citizens who
have been bombarded with job offers or sales work that promises huge

“This is the new budol in town,” Villanueva said in a statement.

He called on the NPC to coordinate with the National
Telecommunications Commission “on how this illegal and irritating
intrusion into one’s privacy can be stopped.”

He described these “robo texts” as a variant of fake news, “which many
people can fall for.”

“In a nation where unemployment and digital disinformation are high,
these kinds of messages can mislead many. Maraming kababayan po natin,
lalo na ang mga naghahanap ng trabaho ang ma-si-swindle nito,” he

Villanueva asked government agencies and telecommunications firms to
work together in preventing citizens from being victimized by
“smishing,” a form of text message phishing, where criminals lure
consumers into giving away personal or financial information.

“Nasa area pa rin po ito ng consumer protection na trabaho ng
gobyerno,” he said.

He said text offers on overseas jobs violate laws in labor placement,
an activity that is tightly regulated by the government to shield job
seekers from being victimized by illegal recruiters. (ai/mtvn)

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