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We’re rating all our favorite scam text messages

We’re rating all our favorite scam text messages

Here’s a (not-so-hot) take: the SIM Registration Act is useless. The law was initially enacted to “protect” us from scammers and spammers trying to take advantage of people, but a single glance at my inbox tells a different story.

These are the regular suspects in your inbox. Plain, boring, obviously a scam. 0/10. Could do better

While receiving texts “[Epicwin]” and “LadyLuck.11” are basically garden variety, there are some scammers that go above and beyond when it comes to creativity. The following texts range from the wholly convincing, to the downright stupid. 

Here are just a few of my personal favorites: 

There’s a team building aspect to this one. We’re doing this together for the low, low price of P68! We (cause we’re a team) can even turn it into P25,000! Bonus points for the cute characters in the end. Even more bonus points ’cause there’s no link attached. Not too overtly threatening and it makes me feel a lil’ warm inside. 

Creativity rating: 6/10 (big fan of the random Japanese characters!)
Potential danger rating: 3/10 (no link, which means you’ll have to make an effort to get at that URL)

Guys, we’re talking to a real-life person (Carla) who potentially has a real-life boss (Ms. Karen)! There’s a personal touch to this one that I just love. And it’s even better because you can avail P50,000 to P2 million in an “easy approve and secured process.” Easy, breezy, Covergirl! 

Carla and Ms. Karen are also call-out queens because of that “Hi utang” message they slipped in there. The little mail emoji really did it for me. Thank you, Carla and Ms. Karen. We’re big fans of your work. 

Creativity rating: 6/10 (it’s the emojis and “hi utang!” for me your honor)
Potential danger rating: 7/10 (if you were desperate, you’d really consider this one)

This is absolutely terrifying. On the surface, it’s a relatively real-looking text from BDO with a not-so-small amount and a clickable link that’s sure to phish your information. Well, that’s if I had a BDO account. Great effort, I just wasn’t the target audience.

All jokes aside though, it’s genuinely dangerous and likely works out in the scammer’s favor.

Creativity rating: 10/10 (a lot of thought was put into this, even if it was just basically copied)
Potential danger rating: 10/10 (so much thought that it’s a real and present danger)

This was the scam text of an era. You couldn’t go an hour without getting one of these messages in late 2021. It’s an attractive daily salary and it’s also a work from home (or I guess “working on the home”) position. It’s also not from a random number, so it makes things spicier. 

Creativity rating: 7/10 (let’s go hopes and dreams!)
Potential danger rating: 9/10 (high scammability for those in need, which is all of us at this point)

This one would have probably gotten me—if I wasn’t a Certified Passenger Princess without a license, let alone my own car. There are “no-contact apprehension” signs on major roads all over Manila, but that’s not even a thing anymore. In 2022, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the policy. And that TRO hasn’t been lifted yet. 

Creativity rating: 8/10 (it feeds off of real fears and that’s true creativity)

Potential danger rating: 10/10 (if you don’t know The Law)

Art by Ella Lambio


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