The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) warns the public to be wary of fraud promos circulating via text message, social media or print materials to lure victims.

Pursuant to the Protection Against Deceptive, Unfair and Unconscionable Sales Acts or Practices under Republic Act (RA) 7394, also known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines, a sales promotion activity / campaign is deemed deceptive when it promises “a consumer product or service has the sponsorship, approval, performance, characteristics, ingredients, accessories, uses, or benefits it does not have”.

“Based on the Department of Trade and Industry – National Telecommunications Commission (DTI-NTC) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed in May 2015, DTI is mandated to act upon complaints on false or deceptive sales promotion, deceitful advertisement, unserved warranty, defective gadgets, and any other complaints within the clause of the Consumer Act of the Philippines; while NTC will act on consumer concerns such as internet speed, fair use, policy, billing, subscriptions and text scams”, Undersecretary of DTI-Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Atty. Teodoro C. Pascua underscores.

DTI provides the following tips to protect the public against text scam:

1. Regularly check your monthly phone bill (post-paid) and keep track of your prepaid subscriptions for services and/or sales promotions you have or haven’t ordered.

2. Always be cautious in responding to micro messages about such things as free gift cards, prepaid automatic load transfer, personal cash loan, and quick cash with no collateral and similar unexpected messages. This is a common ploy by scammers to confirm that they have an active mobile number.

3. Always ignore unsolicited text that promises absurd reward. Remember to always ask yourself would anyone really give me that or did I participate in any way to any promotional activity/event?

4. Real commercial text messages must provide a free, easy way for you to opt out of future communication.

5. Watch out for look – alike URLs and dubious DTI Permit Numbers in the SMS. Just because there is a URL or DTI Permit doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. 6. Be cautious on the source of the text messages. Scammers normally use the 11digit mobile number instead of the special four-digit number (e.g 8888, 2682, etc.) or special SMS Name (PagIBIG Fund, MERALCO, GLOBE, BDO-ONLINE, BDO, etc.) pre-assigned by the telecommunications company.

DTI also advises the public to be vigilant and religiously verify if the sales promo permit number they have been receiving is duly approved via this link:

For queries or complaints on defective gadgets, product warranty or promo related concerns, call DTI Direct 751.3330 or 0917.8343330, or an email to♦