One of them is the alias “Erika.”
Erika just owed her aunt more than P40,000 that the text scammer stole from her. Although she had a job, Erika was tempted to accept the offer for extra income.
In her first transaction, she was given a commission of P1,500 for a “task.”
Because of this, she went ahead and was given 13 “tasks” or transactions that she allegedly had to spend P44,300 on within an hour.
“After ko makumpleto yung task bigla akong binlock nung nag-invite sa akin… Kailangan ko daw mag-recharge ng P20,000 para ma-upgrade sa level 7,” the victim said.
Erika’s upgrade is said to be a promotion and for her to get the investment and commission, but she doesn’t have the money until she can no longer contact the scammer.
So she turned to the police and the bank where the scammer’s account was.
She was told it would be investigated within ten business days.
Today, she still receives the same text scam message from another sender.
Victims of ‘text scams’ share experiences
“Kami pa talaga ang na-scam na kaming walang-wala sa buhay. Yun na lang ang inaasahan naming pera tapos nawala pa sa amin lahat, hindi pa po sa amin,” she said.
According to the Commission on Human Rights, scamming has significantly impacted victims amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It puts at risk a lot of individuals. Our data is out there, and it has to be protected to make sure that adequate steps are being taken to address the matter,” said CHR spokesperson Jackie de Guia.
According to National Telecommunications Commission deputy commissioner Edgardo Cabarrios, it is possible to trace prepaid numbers, but it won’t be easy.
But they said they have coordinated with the National Privacy Commission to stop text fraud.
“We are in coordination also dun sa NPC para naman dun sa possible breach kasi saan galing yung mga phone numbers, etc. Yun ang ating ginagawa… But in the mean time, the best is huwag maniwala ang tao,” he said.