July 18, 2022 2:17 p.m.
On TikTok, a prank where people call their friends using an automated answering machine voice to tell them that a large amount of money is about to be debited from their account is gaining popularity. Kaspersky experts warn that this trend is a real fraud scheme, called vishing, and is actively used by cybercriminals.
Kaspersky researchers detected an increase in the number of vishing emails in June (almost 100,000 total) and collected approximately 350,000 vishing emails between March and June 2022. They also explained how vishing works and how to avoid falling into this trap of cybercriminals.
Vishing (short for voice phishing) is the fraudulent practice of convincing individuals to call cybercriminals and reveal personal information and bank details over the phone. Like most phishing schemes, it starts with an unusual e-mail from a large online store or a payment system. For example, it could be a letter from a fake version of PayPal telling you that they have just received a request to withdraw a large amount of money from your account.
Fake notification from PayPal about a purchase for a large amount of money
But here’s the difference: while regular phishing emails ask the victim to follow a link to cancel the order, vishing emails ask that they urgently call the customer support number provided in the email.
Kaspersky experts emphasize that this method was intentionally chosen by cybercriminals because when people look at a phishing site, they have the time to think about their actions or notice signs that the page is not legitimate. But when victims talk on the phone, they are usually distracted and find it more difficult to focus.
Under these circumstances, attackers do everything they can to further throw them off balance: rushing them, intimidating them, and demanding that they urgently provide their credit card details to cancel the supposed fraudulent transaction. After gaining the victim’s bank account details, cybercriminals use the information to steal their money, leaving the victim with an empty wallet.
Kaspersky experts highlight that in the last four months (from March to June 2022) they have detected almost 350,000 vishing emails, asking victims to call in and cancel a transaction. In June, the number of such emails increased, reaching nearly 100,000, leading Kaspersky researchers to predict that this trend is only gaining momentum and is likely to continue growing.
Number of detected emails with vishing, March — June 2022
Curiously, TikTokers actively repeat one of the vishing schemes, with the only difference being that they do not send a fraudulent email in advance, nor do they steal anything from their victims – their goal is a show, not money.
The call is conducted through an answering machine, whose voice is generated with an online translator. Most often, pranksters introduce themselves as a representative from the customer service department of a large online store, claiming they have just received an order from the victim for several thousand dollars and asking for their confirmation. No matter how the victim replies, the next thing the answering machine says is, “Thank you, your order has been confirmed.” People think the answering machine misheard them and that the funds are going to be withdrawn from their account immediately, so they panic, scream, and don’t realize that they are being pranked.
When people are convinced to disclose their personal data during a phone call rather than on a phishing page, they often don’t have the chance to consider that they are the target of a hoax – and a large number of TikTok videos with this prank are a prominent example of this.
“I often come across videos on TikTok of bloggers pranking other people by calling them and telling them that their account is about to be debited thousands of dollars. The victims believe it and go crazy over it. When you look at these videos on your phone you think, “How can anyone fall for such a thing?” But when people encounter scam calls in real life, they are often affected by multiple circumstances at the same time. Such a call can catch them off guard, while their head is full of other things and they can’t clearly assess who is on the other end of the call – a prankster, a fraudster or a real bank security specialist,” comments Roman Dedenok, security expert at Kaspersky.
Read about other popular methods of email fraud in the full report on Securelist.
To protect yourself from vishing, Kaspersky recommends:
- Checking the sender’s address. Most spam emails come from addresses that don’t make sense or appear as gibberish, for example, amazondeals@tX94002222aitx2.com or something similar. By hovering over the sender’s name, which itself may be spelled incorrectly, you can see the full email address. If you’re not sure if an email address is legitimate or not, you can put it into a search engine to check.
- Considering what kind of information is being requested. Legitimate companies don’t contact you out of the blue via unsolicited emails to ask you for personal information, such as banking or credit card details, your Social Security number or other sensitive data. In general, unsolicited messages telling you to “verify account details” or “update your account information” should be treated with caution.
- Being wary if the message is creating a sense of urgency. Spammers often try to apply pressure by using this tactic. For example, the subject line may contain words like “urgent” or “immediate action required” to pressure you into acting.
- Checking for grammar and spelling is an effective way to identify a scammer. Typos and bad grammar are red flags. So too are odd phrasing or unusual syntax, which might result from the email being translated back and forth through translators several times.
- Installing a trusted security solution and following its recommendations. The secure solution will then solve most problems automatically and alert you if necessary.
NU Lady Bulldogs reach UAAP for 9th consecutive time
November 22, 2023 8:30 p.m.
TOP-SEEDED National University needed just one game to dispose of fourth-ranked Ateneo de Manila University, 58-43, and advance to its ninth straight UAAP Women’s Basketball Finals on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Lady Bulldogs will seek their eighth consecutive title when they face the winner between the twice-to-beat UST Growling Tigresses and the UP Fighting Maroons in the Season 86 best-of-three championship series.
The UST-UP game is ongoing as of publishing.
This was also NU’s 12th straight win after losing to UP in the first round last October 8, 69-72.
“I thought it’s always hard to play against Kacey Dela Rosa and Jhazmin Joson kasi they’re considered nga the 1-2 punch of Ateneo that’s why our main goal every time we play them is to limit them,” said Lady Bulldogs head coach Aris Dimaunahan.
And that goal of limiting the “Kobe and Shaq” of Ateneo in their second straight Final Four duel? NU successfully achieved.
Dela Rosa was limited to just 10 points, including just two in the second half, but still grabbed 11 rebounds and two blocks. In her final game for the Blue Eagles, Jhaz Joson was held to just seven points on a woeful 2-of-12 shooting while also committing eight turnovers.
NU made some separation from a slim 31-27 lead at the break with a strong third quarter that saw Ann Pingol score eight points after being held scoreless in the first half, helping build a 48-37 advantage heading into the fourth.
The Lady Bulldogs continued their onslaught to open the payoff period with Marylene Solis, Maymay Canuto, and Pingol contributing for a 55-39 cushion with 6:15 to go.
After Junize Calago’s layup at the 7:09 mark, the Lady Bulldogs tightened up, with the Blue Eagles’ next basket coming in at the 2:41 mark on a Kacey Dela Rosa deuce, 41-58.
“Thank you sa mga teammates ko na in-encourage nila ako para makabawi ako nung second half kasi nung first half wala talaga ako,” said Pingol, who scored all her 10 points in the pivotal second half where the Lady Bulldogs broke away.
Camille Clarin paced NU in the first half, making all of her 12 points there to go with four assists and three rebounds.
Maymay Canuto and Jainaba Konateh both tallied eight points while grabbing nine and seven rebounds, respectively.
After the game, Joson was given her moment by NU and Ateneo at center court.
Just like last season, the Blue Eagles finished the season in fourth place.
Calago led Ateneo with 12 points, eight rebounds, four steals, and three assists but went just 5-of-19 from the field, while Sarah Makanjuola also added eight points, 16 rebounds, and two blocks.
Mille Gastador had also played her last game for the Blue Eagles.
The Final Four battle was also attended by Gilas Pilipinas players Janine Pontejos, Chack Cabinbin, Khate Castillo, Trina Guytingco, and Mikka Cacho.
NU 58 – Clarin 12, Pingol 10, Canuto 8, Konateh 8, Berberabe 4, Solis 4, Cayabyab 3, Betanio 3, Talas 3, Surada 2, Fabruada 1, Alterado 0, Alcantara 0.
Ateneo 43 – Calago 12, Dela Rosa 10, Makanjuola 8, Joson 7, Villacruz 6, Gastador 0, Angala 0, Solis 0, Nieves 0, Mataga 0, Fetalvero 0, Eufemiano 0.
Quarterscores: 13-11, 31-27, 48-37, 58-43.
Pacquiao lauds Marcial, wants Asiad silver medalist to fight in Manila before Paris stint
November 12, 2023 5:50 p.m.
RETIRED eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has just personally congratulated Paris Olympic-bound fighter Eumir Felix Marcial for winning a silver medal in the recent Hangzhou 19th Asian Games in China.
Not only becoming the first Filipino boxer to qualify for the Paris Games after reaching the Asiad final — an Olympic continental qualifier, the 28-year-old boxer from Zamboanga City got boxing tips from Pacquiao during their meet up at the Forbes Park in Makati City last Friday.
“He [Marcial] was congratulated by the Senator personally after bagging a silver medal in the Asian Games and making it to the Olympics for the second time,” International matchmaker Sean Gibbons said. “The living legend Pacquiao was so excited to see him, he also gave Eumir some boxing tips.”
But there was a bigger story from there.
The 44-year-old future hall of famer, according to Gibbons, is planning to set up a pro fight here in an undetermined venue in Manila for Marcial — one of Marcial’s possible two scheduled pro bouts — before competing to the Paris Olympics from July 26 to August 11.
“The Asiad silver medalist, Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist just met with Viva Manny Pacquiao, he presented him the silver medal, and the big news was the senator wants to do a fight here in Manila, maybe in February to be sponsored by the Manny Pacquiao promotions,” Gibbons added.
Marcial, who is sporting a 4-0 win-loss record with two knockouts, expressed excitement to fight in front of his hometown, noting that the last time he fought in Manila was in 2019 Philippines 30th Southeast Asian Games when he won the gold in the middleweight class.
“It definitely excites me to hear it from Senator himself that he wanted to arrange a fight here for me under his promotions,” Marcial said. “There are many Filipinos who like to see me fight here. I’m begging for the support of my fellow Filipinos.”
Marcial will definitely be the main event bout of the fight card to be arranged by Gibbons later on, but the training of the four-time Southeast Asian Games middleweight king will definitely stay in the United States.
“My training stays in the United States for sure because that’s only the ideal place to train not only for my pro bouts but also for my Olympic campaign,” added Marcial. “I will just return to Manila two weeks before the fight if it’s officially announced.”
Experience super-sized fun at SM’s 65th Anniversary this October
October 1, 2023 9:00 p.m.
It’s October and it only means one thing at SM-SuperMonth!
Suit up for some super-sized deals, treats, and fun as SM celebrates its 65th anniversary. Check out the month-long festivities filled with spectacular activities, immersive attractions, and unforgettable experiences that will leave you thrilled and excited.
SM lights up the sky with Super Blue Illumination
Signaling the start of SM’s 65th celebration, key malls and iconic landmarks will bathe in a brilliant shade of blue starting October 1. A sight to behold and an event to watch out for, the Super Blue Illumination is a captivating display of dazzling lights that signify SM’s enduring legacy and commitment to bringing fun, awesome, and memorable malling experiences for over six decades.
SM MOA Globe
SM North EDSA
SM MEGA Tower
SM Seaside City Cebu
It’s a shopper’s paradise with Super Buy 1 Get 1 Deals
October isn’t complete without a month-long parade of super-sized deals and promos at SM Deals! Expect Buy 1 Get 1 Deals from your favorite dining, shopping and entertainment brands, extravagant discounts, exclusive bundles, and exciting freebies you can swipe to redeem in-store when you download and register on the SM Malls online app. And with a diverse range of brands and product offerings at SM, surely there’s something for everyone in everyone’s shopping paradise.
Indulge yourself with Super Treats
Fun and frenzied October awaits as SM unleashes its Super Treats! On October 15, indulge the movie buff in you as SM Cinema offers a Php 65 movie ticket deal and a Php 65 caramel popcorn combo. It’s truly a match made in cinema heaven!
From October 1 to 30, knock down pins all you want as SM Game Park and SM Bowling offer Php 65 off on unlimited bowling for one hour. For the skating aficionados, SM Skating will also be slashing off Php 65 on the all-day pass.
And for the thrill seekers, you are in for a super treat! Have a whole day of wonder and excitement with a Php 65 entrance fee at Skyranch Tagaytay for all Mondays of October until 12 noon.
Create core memories at the Super Play Spots
Gather your squad and have fun at the Super Play Spots. With well-lit, Instagrammable areas, you’ll have the perfect backdrop for your Super Month memories. These Super Play Spots promise hours of entertainment whether you’re a social media maven or simply looking for a fun day out. Check out the Super Play Spots at SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM City North Edsa, SM Aura, SM Southmall, SM City Dasmariñas, SM Seaside City Cebu, SM Cagayan Downtown Premier, SM Lanang, SM City Clark, SM City Marikina, and SM City Iloilo.
Experience the magic of SM City Marikina’s Super Play Spot’s Kaleidoscope Tunnel – a dazzling experience for family and friends of all ages!
Take your instagrammable photos at SM Mall of Asia’s Super Play Spots.
Drive away in style at the Super Raffle Giveaway with VISA
From October 1 to November 30, eleven lucky shoppers can get a chance to drive away in style at SM’s Super Raffle Giveaway with VISA. All you need to do is to shop for a minimum single receipt purchase of Php 2,000 via tap to pay using your VISA card at participating SM Retail Stores in 75 SM Malls nationwide. Get a chance to win one of the six (6) brand-new Hyundai Stargazers and one of the five (5) brand-new Hyundai Cretas. These brand-new Hyundai cars will really make your daily commute a super experience so shop till you drop and maybe drive away with a new set of wheels!
SM’s Super Month promises to be a 65th-anniversary celebration like no other. Don’t miss out on the super-sized deals, indulgent treats, and the chance to win big. Mark your calendars and get ready for a super malling experience at your favorite SM mall.
To stay updated for everything SUPER this October, visit www.smsupermalls.com or follow @SMSupermalls on social media.