TEXT SCAM Targetting New PLDT Subscribers

I had to write about this scam that I experienced recently. Although it can be viewed as small-time, even silly, I think it can be a big deal to others especially those struggling with their budget. Here's the story.

My friend whom I'm sharing the internet connection has to move to another place. With that, we agreed that I will be the one to take over the internet connection. So I went to PLDT to process the transfer of account to mine. I also have to move the physical router from his unit to my unit since we are living in one building. The process goes smoothly and after a few days, the transfer process was completed.

Now here comes the scam. Shortly before I received my first paper bill, I received a message which at first glance looks like a friendly reminder to pay my bill and installation fee. The message goes like this

Good day from pldt...mr/ms (my name)...this is your account number 251732566...fyi for your payment, installation.
SCAM PLDT TEXT MESSAGE

The message was sent using a regular 11-digit cellphone number 09475221333.

At first glance it looks like a legit, innocent customer service message. I should have thought better. First the phone number is not official. I have received messages from PLDT and my phone/sim readily recognizes it as PLDT. See image below.
LEGIT PLDT TEXT MESSAGE

How did I knew it was a scam? When the time when I would pay the bill using my BPI Express Online account, I have to enroll the new PLDT account number. Incidentally, I reached out for the actual paper bill which arrived a little later after I received the text message.


Then I discovered the fraud. The account number is different. Gotcha! The text message is a scam used to trick new customer into paying someone else's bill. How could they know my cellphone number? Is it an inside job in PLDT? I can't think of any other way.

So next time you received a message purportedly from a legit institution, do better than believe it readily. Check it's authenticity!

_____________________________

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