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Are Contact Tracing Forms to Blame for Spam Texts? Government Says There's 'No Evidence'

Just block, says National Privacy Commission.
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The National Privacy Commission on Tuesday belied claims that contact tracing forms are to blame for the rise of spam text messages reported by Filipinos, saying there is no "direct" evidence to back such allegations.

It would be difficult for spammers to go through thousands, if not millions of contact tracing or health declaration forms to collect personal details such as phone numbers,  NPC Commissioner Raymund Liboro said.

"Wala tayong direktang ebidensya na nagpapakita nito. Nakita natin na ito...isang organized, global sindikato ang gumagawa nito at gumagamit ng mga numero na nakuha nila marahil sa ibang paraan po," he said in a televised briefing.

"In this particular case, nakikita po natin pagkat libu-libo kundi daan-daang libo ang nakakakuha nitong mga text na ito ay napakahirap pong gawin niyan kung iisahin mo ang mga contact tracing forms o health declaration forms," he said.

Over the past few days, frustrated Filipinos have been venting on social media about the high number of spam messages containing supposed offers of side hustles, discounts, and vouchers. Netizens have floated suspicions of misuse or a leak of personal details from contact tracing forms as the suspect of the rise in spam messages.

"Spam po ito. I-block niyo po ito," Liboro said.

Filipinos who receive such messages are advised to block the number of the sender and avoid clicking on any of the sent links. 

For those who have fallen victim to the scam, they can report it to the National Telecommunications Commission via https://ntc.gov.ph/complaint

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