Still unlucky 

I never win anything –  in a raffle, unless there’s a prize for everybody; or the lottery. 

So when I received a text message saying, “Congratulations! You’re one of the luckiest postpaid plan subscribers that will be given a Netflix T-shirt and Mug for free! just reply here with the six digits you received. Thank you for choosing Globe Postpaid.” 

I didn’t get the six digits. In my excitement at being called the “luckiest”, not just lucky, I blocked the number. LOL! So I failed to get the T-shirt and mug I so badly wanted. 

It was no surprise when I checked with @Globe to find out from @Yoly Crisanto, Globe’s chief sustainability officer and senior vice president for corporate communications, that it was a scam and just one of dozens the telecommunication company receives from clients. 

Globe lists the common types of scams. 

● SMS Scam and Smishing 

OTP (one-time personal information number) Interruption for content subscription (i.e. Netflix) 

OTP Interruption for account takeover (i.e. App registration), sending malicious links (route to fake websites and payment  channels) 

Self-service scams (Share-A-Load, Share-A-Promo) 

● Call scam and visiting 

○ Virtual budol 

○ Acquiring personal and sensitive information (bank details,  

address, emails, OTP) 

○ Death threat to acquire money 

● Online scam and phishing 

○ Online budol (fake services and products) 

○ Fake websites 

○ Fake social media accounts 

Here is one example: Your ____ GCash account is on hold due to suspicious transactions. Validate transactions here: 

And remember the Lola/Lolo/kasambahay/nanay/Tita/Tito who mistakenly sent the prepaid phone load meant for the apo/anak/amo/nephew/niece and begging the recipient to send the load to a certain number because it was supposed to be for an emergency? Or the kasambahay could lose her job. 

And how about the parcel/package for delivery so you have to log on to a web site? 

A condominium resident fell victim to a SIM (subscription identification module) swap scam. Somebody claiming to be from Globe showed up in her condo and told her they were going around (this was at the height of the pandemic) to,offer a hassle-free way to upgrade old SIM cards into 5G compatible ones. The process could be done in a few minutes in his car.  

He asked for the woman’s SIM card, brought it to his car and came back with what was supposed to be the upgraded version. When she put it back into her phone she no longer could use her own number and, later, she found out that money had been stolen from her bank accounts. 

It was easy to refuse the offer I got, despite being thrilled to be called one of the “luckiest” Globe postpaid subscribers. On offer were only a T-shirt and a mug. But some scams dangle hard-to-resist offers.  

Just keep in mind that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. Better to be suspicious of most things these days. If in doubt, call or visit your nearest telco office or bank branch. 

Ask Shirley 

Occasionally, I will ask well-known landscape artist Shirley Sanders to answer questions on plants or gardening to help plantitos and plantitas. 

Question: My local poinsettia variety (the woody type) is in bloom right now. Isn’t it supposed to flower during the Christmas season, like the more popular varieties? 

Answer: The local poinsettia really blooms in February. If you want the flowers to appear in time for the holiday season, start fertilizing it in September. 

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