[ the digitizer ]*

i am therefore i blog.

Got Phone? Get Milked!

with 13 comments

Nokia N99

500K Pesos

On July 15th, my almost bucolic morning ritual of checking emails and organizing my digital life was uneventfully interrupted by a SMS (text message) from an unknown sender, +639066036708. Hmmm…nothing peculiar with getting a message occasionally from a number that is not in my phone list except that this one jolted me more than my 8-in-1 choco : “Congratulations! Last 07/14/09 ur cell # had won! P500,000+N99 UNIT from: PCCNS DTI-#9831 SERIES of 2009 please call me now! I’m atty. HERNAN F ROXAS.” (sic)

Well, sorta, because halfway through the message I saw the imaginary word SCAM scroll across the phone screen like a pesky li’l alert message in hyper-blink mode, so my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (er, logic) swiftly took over and calmed my ventromedial frontal lobe  (okay, emotion) down. Um, simply put, logic trumped emotion just like that! Why? First, I didn’t join or sign up for any raffle so how on Estrada‘s name would I legitimately win?! Second, they could literally throw away half a mil plus a shiny, pricey new gizmo (and a concept phone at that) and yet couldn’t afford a few pesos to call me? Wow. Hoo-hah. It’s the text message equivalent of the infamous Nigerian concocted orphaned-account-needing-a-recipient email scams that still manage to spam inboxes and con the gullible ones. I was willing to let it slide and go back to my peaceful, unassuming existence if not for the cloned message that I received from the same number exactly 97 seconds later. So what’s a 21st-century guy got to do? Google.

With 2 billion text messages zipping through the Philippine airwaves daily, it is very likely that some of these are meant to  boondoggle people. When I googled this query, I found Herbert Joseph  Carigma‘s blog post on him receiving 4 such messages. Four! Even surprising is the 188 comments by those who got similar messages, some of them sharing their experience when they actually called the sender. (Laughs). Like real troopers (thanks, guys!), however, they posted all the senders’ numbers and the messages whose tell-tale signs of forced legitimacy is their use of obscure acronyms, DTI permit numbers, and lawyers as if to suggest that “Atty.” means authenticity  and honesty (not!). Also, the other result was about a guy, whose handle is “bauer”, receiving a few days earlier the exact message that I got and posted it, of all places, in a Filipino gun owners’ forum. I bet it took him a lot of self-control to keep his finger off the trigger. You can find his post ¾ of the way down the page in here. The next logical step was to call Globe Telecom‘s 211 (that’s Customer Service to you) and report it. I was told that the number+639066036708 is already flagged and the owner has received warning messages due to several complaints. I offered to be a witness (hopefully under the Witness Protection Program had I surreptitiously skinned the underbelly of a text-savvy beast) should they conduct a thorough investigation reassuring that I have saved both messages if they will ever need it as evidence . Still seething from the thought on the possible damages these unconscionable people cause, I looked up the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) website and filled out their complaint form, including a demand request for a follow through (paging DTI… where is that reply?).

I stretched in my chair, quite contented at my heroic stance against these scums of the universe and proud of the great lengths I took to do something about it. Then my ventromedial frontal lobe suddenly fired up a nagging thought : “What if I really won? 500,000 pesos? N99? C’mon!” My dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was quick to retort, “Bull! And if you insist on that phone, you can shove it up your…”

OK, I got the message.

<<< Scam Alert >>>

If it seems like a scam and smells like a scam, it is a scam!

  • This is how to know if you are about to be duped. Thanks to Anastasia for the link.
  • Curious about phone sex scams? Well, it’s your lucky day because I found one great blog (check out the chat sampling; it is a riot!). Ghrasya, thanks.
  • In the Philippines, you may contact :

> Anti-Money Laundering Council Secretariat (AMLC)

5/F, EDPC Building, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Mabini St., Manila, Tel: 302-3982/ 524-7011 ext. 2372

(Their website’s Assistance Page )

> Corporate Affairs Office

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP Complex, Mabini St., Manila, Tel: 523-4832/524-7011 ext. 2259

Bookmark and Share


Written by nealm

18 July 2009 at 8:59 PM

13 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Hi. This blog is currently one of the nominees for the Filipino Blog of the Week Award (week 172). You may visit my site and vote. Poll can be found on the sidebar. Good luck.


    1 August 2009 at 4:10 AM

    • Thank you, talk. I hope I will win! 🙂

      the digitizer

      1 August 2009 at 2:34 PM

    • do you really have to solicit votes from other people’s page?


      1 August 2009 at 2:38 PM

      • if you’re talking about digitizer’s blog, good luck, neal! i’m so happy for you 🙂


        1 August 2009 at 2:40 PM

      • i guess so, apart from my readership which isn’t that many yet. i think i will the do facebook/twitter solicitation. kelangan kapal muks na ‘to! 🙂 wish me well, lumi. thank you. btw, i just nominated your blog, too! 🙂

        the digitizer

        1 August 2009 at 2:50 PM

  2. 🙂 i couldn’t find your description so i chose “wow” for i’m impressed with your writings

    the first time i’ve received a message like this, i searched the internet and found out that this is a fraud. until now, whenever i receive one, i can’t help myself but reply with defamation. as in, “tanga, gago, balasubas, manloloko, walang hiya ka, wala kang mapapala sakin, magtrabaho ka nang maayos, ayusin mo ang buhay mo, sanobabitchmaderpakershet!!!” sorry po, tao lang…


    1 August 2009 at 2:25 PM

    • lol… that is very apt. i’m sure the scumbags got their dose of expletives that they deserve. for all the troubles that they cause, they should go to jail. grabe, it’s like day-time robbery!

      the digitizer

      1 August 2009 at 2:51 PM

  3. i heard this from Radio Veritas and i, too, hope that legislators will be able to come up with a law mandating every person to register any mobile number, just like when applying for a landline, with his personal information as found in legal or government issued documents or ID cards


    1 August 2009 at 2:33 PM

    • anonymity is a good thing if not used for scams by scums. if we have to take that route to curtail fraud, i’m all for it. the government should make it easier for law-abiding citizens and harder for the crooks to go about their daily lives. wish ko sana we get to keep our number regardless of the service provider like they do in the US. i’m looking forward to this legislation. thanks, uli, luminerli!

      the digitizer

      1 August 2009 at 2:57 PM

  4. i voted for you because you have the cleanest blog ever 🙂 thank you but you don’t have to nominate my blog since i’m not into popularity or competition…


    2 August 2009 at 2:44 AM

    • thank you. i’m glad you noticed that i really wanted it simple and sparse (well, that is quite a struggle for me).

      i should have asked you for the nomination first. if that was uncalled for, i do apologize. i just thought that sharing your genius with a wider audience will result in a net gain in sanity and sense in this world 🙂 besides, i think this is just for fun. for me, it’s not like i’m gonna shut up and be in a catatonic mode just because i didn’t win. i mean, who will make this dude shut up? who will shut me down? LOL… it’s all good, but you betcha i will threaten my friends to vote for me! HA HA

      again, thanks, lumi!

      the digitizer

      2 August 2009 at 8:10 AM

  5. Thank you for opening our eyes…
    I think this message will help us to be aware of scumbags.
    More power!

    Margie Killian

    2 August 2009 at 8:49 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: