Cybercriminals continue to prey on Filipino job-seekers. Here’s why
May 30, 2022 2:42 p.m.
If money is what motivates cybercriminals to trick, swindle and steal, then why are they targeting job-seekers who are supposedly income-less and are themselves in need of money?
Job scams have been around for a long time. But it’s getting extra attention lately as Filipinos report receiving way more job invitations through text messages than ever before. These unsolicited job offers promise unbelievably generous earnings in exchange for seemingly easy work that is too tempting to not even try.
Official statistics reveal that as of March 2022, there are 3.13 million unemployed Filipinos and 7.42 million underemployed or those who have jobs but are still looking for other sources of income.
According to a job report, about 49% of Filipinos are now keen to work remotely due to pandemic concerns such as health and safety. For scammers, this is a goldmine they just wouldn’t miss taking advantage of.
Personal information such as name, birthday, phone number, email address are already valuable — it can actually cost up to $10 on the dark web, according to Kaspersky data.
Once in the hands of fake job recruiters a.k.a. cybercriminals, these data can then be sold or traded to other cybercriminals or companies.
Scammers will also use these data to commit other cybercrimes such as identity theft or to infect your device with malicious software (malware) to steal more data stored in it.
Cybercriminals also play on a job seeker’s desperation to make money immediately. In the Philippines, most job scams include having the victim send money to the fake recruiter to pay for “registration fees” or to get “commissions” or “bonuses” with higher returns as long as the victim tops up.
“By now, people are already aware of the standard red flags of fake job offers sent via email such as the sender’s address, layout, etc. More or less we know how to recognize and avoid it so scammers have changed their delivery mode to text/SMS,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
“There is also a lowered expectation of danger in text messages so it’s less scrutinized by the receiver, which means the scam is likely to succeed. When an unsuspecting person gets a message like a job offer with an irresistible pay, she is likely to disregard her mental checklist of warning signs and just click through,” he added.
Yeo also advises companies to take necessary measures to protect their brand and reputation from scammers who exploit their corporate identity and information for fake job offers.
Possible reputational losses can be avoided by having the company website, which lists contact details (such as for HR), audited for vulnerabilities.
Kaspersky offers the following tips to job-hunters to help you avoid falling victim to this kind of scam:
- Limit job searches to official sources.
- Do not respond nor click on links if they come from people or organizations you don’t know. Replying simply confirms to the sender that your phone number is active.
- Install a trusted security solution with fraud and phishing protection and follow its recommendations. This will solve most of the problems automatically and alert you if necessary. Remember, personal vigilance is not enough when dealing with sophisticated scam methods used by cybercriminals.
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA). A common variant is a two-factor authentication (2FA) which often uses a text message verification code while a stronger variant includes using a dedicated app for verification (like Google Authenticator).
- Check the company’s official website for open vacancies matching your job skills.
- Check contact information on companies’ official websites. If needed, send an email to the company to verify if the person who contacted you actually works there.
- Be wary of offers to discuss a job or hold an interview in secret chats where messages are encrypted, cannot be forwarded and which alerts the participants if anyone takes a screenshot.
- Make an additional phone call to the company to ensure that the job offer is legitimate.
- Review your job offer for possible mistakes: carefully check the company name or job title and responsibilities.
- Report all SMS phishing attempts to designated authorities.
What to do if you become a victim? Limit the damage with these important steps:
1. Report to any institutions that could assist.
2. Change all passwords and account PINs where possible.
3. Monitor finances, credit and other online accounts for strange login locations and other activities.
Atayde bats for moratorium on student loan payments during emergencies, calamities
March 17, 2023 9:00 p.m.
STUDENTS won’t have to worry paying their loans during times of calamities and emergencies, as Quezon City first district Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde has introduced a moratorium on the payment of student loans administered by higher educational institutions (HEIs).
The House Bill 7279, which Atayde filed last Feb. 21, headed into its first reading six days later in the Committee on Higher and Technical Education, chaired by Baguio City Rep. Mark O. Go.
He said the bill — once it turns to a law — will halt the payment of all the fees, charges, and costs relating to student loans and technical-vocational training institutions (TVIs) or by the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) during emergencies.
It will cover all students residing in areas declared to be under a state of calamity or emergency — those who are enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs), private HEIs, and public and private TVIs.
“We have to find a way to help our students and their families, when natural or even these man-made calamities hit them hard. We just have to make everything easy for them including a moratorium on the payment of student loans,” Atayde said. “It is a burden on a student and their family especially in difficult times like aftermath of typhoon, fire and earthquakes, among other disasters.”
“In the order of spending, student loans will be their least priority since spending will go mostly to basic necessities for survival,” Atayde added.
The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and for 30 days after its lifting. No penalties shall be collected on the deferred payments.
“To provide adequate relief and protection to our students in times of calamities and emergencies, this measure shall allow the deferral of student loan collections for a reasonable period during and after the onset of disasters.”
The Quezon City lawmaker cited also the availability of the moratorium, which shall not adversely affect the status of the students concerned with regard to their eligibility for re-enrollment on the succeeding semesters or terms, or their eligibility for graduation.
“The proposed legislation doesn’t prevent public and private HEIs from implementing more favorable forms of payment relief or assistance to students affected by disasters, prohibiting students from voluntarily waiving the moratorium on student loan payments, or availing subsidies and assistance from the government,” Atayde concluded.
ShopeePay now available as a payment method for App Store, other Apple services in PH
March 16, 2023 1:59 p.m.
Beginning today, ShopeePay, Shopee’s integrated mobile wallet, is now available as a payment method for Apple services in the Philippines. Customers can use their ShopeePay account to pay for App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV app, and iTunes Store purchases, iCloud storage and more.
The addition of ShopeePay as an Apple ID payment method offers a new way to pay for Apple services without needing a credit card and still allows for easy, secure one-tap purchasing from Apple products including iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Customers can manage their Apple ID payment information in Settings on iPhone and iPad, or on their Mac or PC.
Agatha Soh, Director at ShopeePay commented, “ShopeePay is committed to meeting the needs of users who are increasingly expecting seamless payments across all platforms. We are excited to offer ShopeePay as a convenient payment option for our customers, and expand access to digital payments, benefitting more users.”
For more information on how to add ShopeePay as a payment method, please visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201266 or https://shopee.ph/m/ShopeePay-Apple-ID-PH.
Be bolder, braver, more confident at SM Supermalls’ Women’s Month celebration!
March 8, 2023, 8:30 p.m.
Ladies, take center stage as SM celebrates Women Power throughout the month of March. Lots of activities both online and on-ground are in store to empower women and girls all over the country.
Join the Future of Women Global Summit
SM Supermalls will be joining UN Women in kicking off the IWD 2023 celebration through a women’s summit on March 8, at the SM Aura Premier Samsung Hall. Focusing on the future of women in ICT, the two-part event will gather young women, country leaders, policy makers, and advocates together to share perspectives and affirm their commitment to supporting digital equality for women and girls.
Photo courtesy of SM City Lucena
Photo courtesy of SM City San Jose del Monte
Support your local Womenpreneurs
Great finds for ladies are on sale at the SM Womenpreneur Market! This pop-up of small and medium businesses owned by women for women will give you everything you need from food and beauty to wellness and fashion!
Wednesdays are for women!
Shopping on Wednesdays has become even more tempting because the Women’s Wednesday Sale is back! Achieve the glow-up you deserve with special discounts, deals, and promos on fashion, beauty, and fitness exclusively for women every Wednesday of March. So don’t hold back on your shopping; you deserve all these and more!
A beautiful treat of wellness all for you
Forda glow-up and pampering sesh tayo this month because lots of self-care deals are available at the Women’s Wellness Sale. Avail of great deals from wellness salons on facials, hair and body treatments, nail care, and massage from March 1 to March 31.
And more deals online!
Special deals are up for women via the SM Malls Online app. Get the best brand offerings every Wednesday from shoes and beauty and wellness to home and hobbies. Use the code WOMEN and get an extra 10% off, capped at 250. What’s great is that there’s no minimum purchase required!
Also, a collection of brand vouchers will be sent to all women SM Malls Online shoppers valid all month. Wait for your Beauty Pass and give yourself the retail therapy you deserve with tons of discounts, GWP deals, samplers, in-store pick up bonuses, and mystery boxes!
Plus, the SM Malls Online app will be hosting self-care sessions online. Follow SM Supermalls on social media to get a dose of starter packages, Get-Ready-With-Me routines, and beauty products that your favorite beauty experts swear by.
Photo courtesy of SM City East Ortigas
Photo courtesy of SM City Manila
Celebrate Women Power on IG!
Capture the beauty and power of women at the beautiful spots and installations all over SM. Be free to express your own uniqueness and creativity in the specially-designed selfie spaces in partnership with Selfie Studio. Don’t forget to tag us on IG!
We don’t know about you but exciting days await every SM woman. So be bolder, braver, and more confident! With these activities, you can confidently step forward in fashion, beauty, wellness, and express yourselves to make a positive impact.
Stay updated on all things women this IWD 2023 by visiting www.smsupermalls.com and following @smsupermalls on social media.