June 15, 2024

Whoscall Philippines in coalition with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) have thrown their weight behind the call for Filipinos to ensure the security of their devices from proliferating travel scams during the summer. This action is in line with the boost of the Online Bantay Lakbay 2024 initiative.

The Online Bantay Lakbay 2024 project is a robust anti-travel scam campaign. This initiative receives allegiance from Scam Watch Pilipinas, DICT, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), and the Special Action and Intelligence Committee for Transportation (SAICT).

Photo features Whoscall Philippines Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Country Head of Gogolook, Mel Migriño, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Communications and Commuter Affairs (CCAO) Hector Villacorta, CICC Assistant Secretary Mary Rose Magsaysay and DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy.

Whoscall Philippines Country Head and Southeast Asia Regional Director of Gogolook, Mel Migriño, emphasized the workings of online scam-aspirants. These fraudsters incorporate various scams, especially those synonymous with travel-associated pitfalls.

“The worst-case scenario would be falling victim to an online scam while vacationing. It is imperative that we recognize trustworthy contacts and differentiate them from suspicious or scam numbers. In this regard, Whoscall serves the purpose of detecting incoming calls and flagging possible suspicious numbers,” Migriño explained.

The crucial role of Whoscall came to light during the recent campaign kick-off, as DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy underlined the significance of this collaboration against the backdrop of a growing cyber fraud landscape.

“Our partnership with Whoscall is strategic since their system can gauge the veracity of message content you receive on platforms such as WhatsApp and Viber, detecting potential scam influencers,” Uy commented. 

The anti-scam application, Whoscall, is the brainchild of leading TrustTech company Gogolook. It pegs incoming calls, delineating credible contacts from suspicious or scam numbers. Besides, it can effortlessly detect malevolent links woven into short message service (SMS) messages automatically.

Migriño alluded to the valuable integration of Whoscall with messaging apps like Viber and WhatsApp. “This application serves as a watchdog, signaling users about suspicious numbers and links during their use of the above-enumerated messaging apps,” Migriño clarified.

Migriño further elucidated on the URL scanner feature integrated into Whoscall, which enables users to circumnavigate harmful websites leading to potential scams or frauds. She said, “Merely copy, paste, or scan the URL using the Whoscall mobile app. It provides a ‘risk level’ that helps guide online transactional activities.”

Co-Founder and Lead Convenor Jocel de Guzman of Scam Watch Pilipinas suggested that the Whoscall application serves as a strong defense barrier against dubious numbers and deceptive websites. “The inclusion of Whoscall in our educational campaign against scams is instrumental because it serves as an early warning system to identify fraudulent numbers,” De Guzman attested.