Scammers won’t quit

As we all know, bad people will always find a way to circumvent the law.

          Take the SIM Card Registration Act, for instance. Although the law says that by “July 31 (2023), all unregistered SIMs (subscriber identity module) will be permanently deactivated and can no longer be reactivated/registered”, there are still many unidentified numbers, most of them, of course, used for less than honest purposes.

          I keep getting text messages offering quick cash or loans or financing.

          Even old scams are back: “Good day ma’am/sir. Your lucky SIM no. had won (P480,000) From; KOPIKO BLANCA DTI#883’23 Pls. Send Your NAME: AGE: ADDRESS: WORK: Thankyou!”

          Then there are the credit collectors. I was in a press conference when one caller insisted I should reach out to a relative who apparently got a loan from them. He would not stop despite my telling him I was in a meeting.

          Then I got a threatening message: “Kasama Ka! Once Na Di Nagbyad Si Name: (giving the name and mobile number of a person who was a complete stranger to me) Kasama Ka Pag Hndi Kupa Matanggap ang Payment Niya Etxt O Tawagan Muyan Dahil Nandit and Lhat Ng Information Mo Na Siya Mismo and Nagbigay. WAG NYO ANTAYIN SA FB PAGE NG LUGAR NYO AKO MANINGIL.”

          In essence, the text sender was telling me if the person failed to pay her obligation, she/he would post the demand for payment on the FB page of our place. I have no idea what that means.

          After I sent the message to Globe for action, I received this text message:        “Good Day,

“On behalf of our company, I would like to apologized regarding to the message we’ve sent to you as being the contact reference of …..

“We we’re very sorry for sending that he is a scammer. We admit that this is very unprofessional and unaccepted to the law.We will take the responsibility for being careless and for invading the privacy of our client.

“Please accept our sincere apology and We promise to ae morn responsible next time.

“Thank you for your kind consideration.”

GCash, NBI partnership

          The other day,newspaper reports said several GCash account holders were found to have allowed their accounts to be used by scammers.

The scheme seems to be similar to what bank thieves do – they siphon off money from certain accounts then deposit it temporarily in the account of a person or persons who have no connection whatsoever to victims.

For letting his/her account be used, the accomplice gets a handsome fee.

With problems like this, the timing could not have been better for GCash and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to formalize their partnership in fighting digital fraud and scams.

As G-Xchange, Inc. (GXI) chief executive officer Oscar Enrico Reyes, Jr. said during the signing ceremony, while the e-wallet service provider was taking every step to ensure clients safe and secure transactions and to identify scammers, it “cannot investigate, arrest and prosecute offenders”.

Hence, the partnership with the NBI, a law enforcement agency.

NBI Director Medardo G. de Lemos pointed out that while financial institutions like GCash had the data on suspected cybercrimes, “they do not have the authority to investigate and prosecute such offenses”.

While the partnership with GCash had just been formalized de Lemos said they had been collaborating and the “information provided by (GCash) had been put to good use” and had helped in successful operations and prosecutions.

Reyes said, “We’ve seen a concerning rise in online scams, investment fraud and various cybercrimes in recent years. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we work together with authorities to protect Filipinos against perpetrators.”

It goes without saying that account holders should also assume some responsibility in keeping their digital wallet secure. And they definitely should not allow themselves to become accomplices of scammers if they do not want the NBI or any other law enforcement agency to go after them

Big plans for 2024

Kenny Rogers Roasters, which boasts of a “deliciously healthy” menu, is leveraging the recognitions and honors it received in 2023 to propel its growth this year.

Guided by its “Innovation with a purpose” mantra, the food chain expects  robust growth in 2024.

The brand’s innovation-centric approach led to trendsetting product launches and marketing campaigns in 2023 that further affirmed Kenny Rogers Roasters standing as a highly regarded player in the local food industry.

For the launch of its Truffle Collection, it partnered with Grab, which dressed up its cars and riders in gold to create a head-turning site across the metropolis.

The campaign won the Green Boomerang award from the IMMAP (Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines) for Retail Media Network.

In the 2023 Golden Grab Awards, Kenny Rogers Roasters received

two major Marketing awards – Campaign of the Year and the Gold Ad Trendsetter. It was also named, for the second-year in a row, Fan Favorite in the Roasted Chicken category. It won gold in the Combo Meal category.

Foodpanda named Kenny Rogers Roasters the Most Innovative Brand for 2023.

The chain was ranked number 1 in the Fast food/Restaurant category for Best Customer Service by Statista and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Other honors it received were Marketing Excellence Award in Brand Awareness. It won gold for its Chimichurri campaign.

The success of the marketing campaigns, not surprisingly, helped the restaurant increase system-wide sales in 2023 by 22 percent compared to 2022.

Kenny Rogers Roasters’ marketing director Lorent Adrias is confident

2024 will be even better as the chain remains committed to its innovation-centric mindset. Adrias was the recipient of the 2023 Mansmith Young Market Masters Award (YMMA).

Kenny Rogers Roasters is planning to open 20 new stores in 2024 for a total of 150 stores by the end of the year.

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