Scam Watch Pilipinas: Manila Bulletin launches cybersecurity movement

Manila Bulletin (MB) will launch Scam Watch Pilipinas, an advocacy movement supporting cybersecurity, to empower Filipinos to protect themselves against cyber fraud.

Also known as #ScamWatchPH, it will be implemented in cooperation with government agencies and brand partners.

A project of MB Technews, #ScamWatchPH will address cyber fraud and online scams, the unintended consequences of digitalization. According to Art Samaniego, MB TechNews editor, the initiative will transform the section into a technology advocacy channel of government agencies and the private sector.

MB has partnered with start-up reputation management brand Truth360, headed by founder and president Jocel de Guzman, to set up the operational framework of #ScamWatchPH.

Samaniego and De Guzman will lead the #ScamWatchPH movement as co-lead convenors.

Samaniego said he recognizes the need for a more organized and impactful effort to combat online scams.

“Through this movement, we aim to establish a system that will educate individuals on the various online scams prevalent today, and to empower them to take action against the scammers,” Samaniego explained. “While I understand that completely eradicating online scams may be an impossible task, our goal is to significantly reduce their occurrence and minimize the harm they inflict on innocement lives. With #ScamWatchPH, our group will develop educational campaigns, conduct workshops, and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to effectively combat cybercriminals.”

One of the critical components of #ScamWatchPH is its emphasis on education and the integration of awareness campaigns. It offers practical advice on identifying and avoiding scams, teaching individuals how to be skeptical of unsolicited messages, to verify the authenticity of websites, and to protect their personal information online.

#ScamWatchPH also promotes the importance of keeping software up to date, using firewalls and antivirus software, and exercising caution when clicking links.

The unique feature of #ScamWatchPH is the reporting tool powered by a propriety AI called ScamGuard, developed by technology advocate Alvin Veroy who is also the executive technology advisor of the movement and the technology director of the AI department of Fosshub.

The #ScamWatchPH reporting tool is now in its final stage of development and will be presented to the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), National Privacy Commission (NPC), and Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) for testing.

The #ScamWatchPH Team has started inviting various government agencies and brand partners to be part of the movement, which is being targeted to be launched before the fourth quarter of the year.

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