Is your mobile phone being spoofed? There are signs, and you have just seconds to spot them.

Recents months have seen the rise of spoofing, a scamming method where fraudsters pretend to be your trusted brand and send you SMS geared towards collecting your sensitive information without your knowledge.

Spoofing uses a devious device called the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catcher or fake base station, which can be toted around or mounted in vehicles to mess with mobile users within a 2-kilometer radius. The IMSI catcher downgrades your signal to 2G via their faux network, allowing fraudsters to send you messages that look like legit messages from well-known brands, yet are anything but.

There are three dead giveaways to help you catch these spoofing attempts in the act. Be very attentive, as these occur in just a matter of seconds:

Your signal downgrades to 2G/EDGE

Did your phone just go retro to 2G/EDGE? If you find yourself stepping back in time to the 2G or EDGE network in a spot where you are usually cruising on 4G/LTE, alarm bells should ring. That is a classic sign an IMSI catcher might be lurking around. In case you receive an unsolicited message right after you notice the signal downgrade, be wary.

You receive a message from a known sender ID with suspicious offers and garbled links

Did you get a message from a legitimate-looking sender ID with a suspicious offer, such as an enticing prize or a worrying warning with a garbled link? Fraudsters have been mimicking sender IDs of popular brands such as Globe and banking institutions to send spoofed SMS. These usually contain links with misspelled or broken up company names (example: or, which lead to pages that will illegally collect your data. Remember that Globe will never send clickable links in its official customer SMS advisories.

You suddenly lose access to mobile data

As spoofing operates in 2G, you will lose access to the internet and other data services once targeted. If you cannot access your data services out of the blue and start getting weird or sketchy SMS messages, it’s time to get suspicious. This could very well be a spoofing strike.

Keep in mind that spoofed messages evade Globe’s spam filters by circumventing its secure network. Globe urges you to be vigilant and protect yourself by refraining from engaging with these messages and clicking on any links.

Globe continues to step up efforts against fraud, taking several measures to protect its customers. These include deploying network probes to uncover IMSI catchers and fake base stations, and blocking SMS with dangerous URLs.

Globe also counts on you to be its lookout. Report any suspicious message to the #StopSpam portal. Be vigilant and scrutinize messages requesting personal info or urging action.

“Keeping up our defenses against these scammers is a team effort, and you, our customers, are a key player. Your awareness and caution are the ace up our sleeve. We’re here to keep you safe and clued in, but we need your help in protecting yourself as scammers continue to find new ways to dupe you,” said Anton Bonifacio, Globe Chief Information and Security Officer.

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