SENATOR Win Gatchalian has filed a resolution seeking for a probe into the proliferation of spam and phishing text messages that put the consumers’ right to privacy and security at risk.Gatchalian said the government, through relevant agencies, needs to implement measures to stop the proliferation of spam messages that contain information that appears to come from reputable or reliable sources and attempts to obtain a user’s sensitive information, such as username, passwords, and credit card details.”It is alarming that while major telecommunications providers claim to have already blocked a significant number of spam and phishing text messages, the problem continues to hound many telco subscribers,” he said.“The inclusion of the receiver’s name indicates a breach of consumers’ right to privacy and this breach stirs fear that their personal details may have already been compromised,” he added.In 2021, the government created a Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) to address the problem but latest data reveal the continued existence of similar concerns from many users.Gatchalian also said that Globe Telecom claimed to have blocked over 138 million spam and scam text messages from January to June 2022, while PLDT Inc. with more than 23 million text messages in four days in June.”Malinaw na hindi sapat ang mga hakbang na ginawa ng inter-agency group upang matugunan ang problemang ito dahil ang mga subscribers ay patuloy na nakakatanggap ng mga spam at phishing messages. Higit pang mga interbensyon ang kailangan gawin ng gobyerno para epektibong matuldukan ang mga ganitong mga gawain,” he said.The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier issued a warning for the public to be more cautious and disregard these fraudulent text messages.PNP-ACG spokesperson Lieutenant Michelle Sabino said the scammers continue with their activities because there are some people who still patronize them and the only way to stop it is when these unscrupulous individuals find it no longer profitable because nobody pays attention to it anymore.“Scammers, fraudsters send out messages in bulk, so it’s random, whoever gets affected or who would respond, he or she will become a victim,” she said.Sabino also said that another possible solution to this concern is a law that mandates the registration of SIM cards in the country, noting that investigators will always face a dead-end in their probe because scammers use prepaid cards that are difficult to trace.Last April, former president Rodrigo Duterte vetoed the SIM Card Registration bill due to the inclusion of social media providers in the registration requirement that was not part of the bill’s original version. (SunStar Philippines)