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Monday, June 2, 2014

WARNING on Caritas Health Shield,the notorious Text Spammer in the Philippines

Warning. It has come to our attention that Metro Manilans are being harassed by constant text barrages and calls from individuals who are soliciting  business for Caritas Health Shield.
"CARITAS HEALTH SHIELD INC. (HMO) COMPANY. The no. 1 HEALTH CARD PROVIDER. 2012. Advisory: We are glad to inform you that you are one of our selected recipients, entitled to have a FAMILY MEDICAL PRIVILEGE CARD & Gift Certificate worth of P6,800 for Derma and Dental Services, ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! and NO CASH OUT! " 
Caritas Health Shield
If you are not familiar with the company, Caritas Health Shield is an entirely different entity from the charitable institution Caritas Manila. 
In an attempt the cut down the huge number of unsolicited text messages being sent to mobile phone subscribers, Globe Telecom has filed before the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) what is believed to be the first case against text spamming in the country.

In a statement, the Ayala-owned mobile operator said the filing of the complaint against notorious text spammer Caritas Shield is part of its crackdown on companies involved in sending unsolicited text advertisements.
Globe has asked the NTC to order Caritas Shield the payment of the appropriate fines and penalties for sending text spam to Globe subscribers. Globe also asked the NTC to permanently bar Caritas, its agents and employees from sending these spam texts to Globe customers.
Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said other companies whose agents employ marketing strategies that involve sending text spams will be dealt with similarly.
In the complaint filed against Caritas with the NTC, Globe said Caritas should be immediately stopped from sending text spams and asked that a cease and desist order be issued by the regulatory body against Caritas.
As a prepaid subscriber of Globe, Caritas has violated the terms and conditions specified in the User’s Guide set by the telecommunications company for its prepaid SIMs, according to the mobile operator.
Specifically, the User’s Guide stipulates that subscribers should “not use the prepaid service, handset, SIM cards, call & text card for any fraudulent or abusive purpose.”
Caritas has been sending spam text messages to Globe and TM subscribers, soliciting and enticing them to avail of its health care and insurance products.
Text spams coming from Caritas have adversely affected the reputation of the company against its customers and caused “massive irritation” to Globe subscribers, resulting in numerous complaints with its customer service department.
One text spam from Caritas reads as follows: “Caritas Health Shied Inc. offers a pre-approved comprehensive health card with money-back guarantee. If you’re interested, please reply with your name, age and address. Our health consultant will assist you shortly.”
Many subscribers complain of getting an average of 5 to 10 text spams a day. Spam messages are usually sent by prepaid numbers as they are untraceable and are easily disposable.
Spammers also don’t need specific numbers to send spam messages to as they make use of USB GSM modems and they spam number ranges. Legitimate text blasts approved by the regulating agency are properly identified and do not carry 11-digit numbers.
“The clamor of customers to combat spam messages has become a matter of public interest so the NTC should use all its disciplinary powers against spammers like Caritas,” Globe stressed in the complaint.
The crackdown versus companies involved in text spams follows an information drive launched by Globe in January this year aimed at educating subscribers on how to deal with irritating text spams.
The information drive resulted in a surge of mobile numbers deactivated from Globe service in the first four months of the year. As of April this year, Globe said it barred from its network a total of 384 mobile numbers. This number is 11-percent higher than the total number of mobile numbers blocked from the network for the whole of 2013.
“We expect this number to increase further as Globe continues to step up its drive versus annoying and bothersome text spams. We would like to assure our subscribers that the company will continue to amplify our campaign until we have substantially reduced, if not eliminated, this problem,” Castelo said.
The telecommunications provider has put in place several channels through which subscribers can report text spams. Subscribers may report via the Globe website through Talk2Globe Chat; send a message through Globe Contact Form and by tweeting @Talk2GLOBE on Twitter.
Subscribers can put in the number, the exact message, and the time and date the text spam was received. Numbers that are reported to be source of text spams are first sent warnings and those that are persistent source of text spams are deactivated from the service.
Customers can also keep themselves from getting text spams through their own devices.
iOS users may block unwanted numbers by opening the message, clicking the Contact button at the right hand corner, clicking the “i” next to the number they wish to block. They can then scroll down to the bottom of the page where they will see the option “Block this caller” and then click to confirm.
For Android users, subscribers may block spam through their gadget’s filtering settings: Go to Settings, press the Spam Message Settings, click “Add to Spam Numbers” and add spammers’ numbers. They may also choose to actively block by inputting commonly used spam phrases and adding it to the “Add to Spam Phrases” list. From
This is to warn you about the so called SCAM of the Caritas Health Sheild representatives.

This scam has been around for so many years now and they still keep on practicing it. Why do these guys keep doing it? Simply because there are lots of people that can be easily cheated by this strategy.

1. They will send you a text or even give you a call informing that you were selected among the few to receive benefits from Caritas ("freebies" and or "free health card") and need to claim it in their office. In addition to that, they would also ask you to bring your valid IDs, Credit Card, etc.

2. Once you drop by to their office, they will let you talk to their representatives/agents to discuss regarding their health insurance before giving you the "freebies" which really are not worth-it.

3. They'll discuss with you all their insurance plan (which is obviously the main purpose of all the texts and calls you received), and will convince you so by making "tricky words" and irresistible insurance package for you to swipe your credit card "at once" to avail their so called promo... Once you swipe your credit card with the insurance plan, that's it! You're done. If for example they assure you before you swipe your card that you can cancel your credit card payment any time within the week, they will deny it straight in your face specially if there is no written/signed agreement for this matter.

A successful swipe of your credit card means another successful modus operandi for them. Note that you cannot claim a refund of your money once you are billed. It is their legal way of committing fraud so to speak. They already studied all the legalities and you cannot win even if you file a complaint about this issue.

When trapped in this situation, please do have a black and white agreement for "every" transaction with them. Ask for the copy of the insurance package they discussed with you because most of these tempting packages are not included in the final copy of your insurance policy plan. So sad that Doctors consultation fee are also not included in this package. 

Bottom-line is: Don't ever swipe your card or involve any transactions concerning money. 
To save your precious time and effort and to avoid being fooled by this SCAM, what we can do right now is to ignore all their annoying messages and calls and inform others as much as we can about this fraud. From Caritas Health Shield Scam
‘Health care fraud’
by Ben Tulfo, Philippine Star
MABENTA at patok ang mga health insurance sa bansa. Marami sa mga kababayan natin prayoridad ang kalusugan kaya naglalaan ng pera at salapi para maseguro ang kanilang kalagayan.
Pero kuwidaw ka! Marami kasing mga dorobo’t kawatan ang nananamantala sa sitwasyon dahil sa nakikita nilang tumataas na demand sa publiko. Gamit ang iba’t ibang taktika at estilo, ang mga magkakakuntsabang sindikato, sinusubukan ang lahat ng paraan para makapanlinlang at makapanloko.
Ganito ang reklamo na ipinaabot sa BITAG ni Alter, isang information technology expert. Nakatanggap umano siya ng isang text message mula sa “Caritas Health Shield Office” na naka-base sa Makati City.  Ayon sa ipinadalang mensahe, nanalo siya ng libreng medical card at gift certificate.  Para ma-avail ang napanalunan, kailangan niyang pumunta sa kanilang tanggapan at mag-presinta ng ID Card, Credit Card at iba nya pang pagkakakilanlan.
Pagdating ni Alter sa nasabing tanggapan, agad siyang kinausap ng nagpakilalang manager at coordinator. Taliwas sa inaasahang “freebies,” inalukan siya ng mga putok sa buhong ahente ng health insurance package na nagkakahalaga ng P36,000. Nung una hindi pumayag ang biktima, pero dahil sa sales talk technique ng mga talpulano’t talpulana, tila nahipnotismo umano si Alter.
Ito ang hokus-pokus ng mga kawatan. Kukuwentuhan at pilit pakakagatin ang target victim sa kanilang alok hanggang sa tuluyan itong mabitag sa kanilang mga kabulukan at kabuktutan!
 Oras na makitang lito at hilo na ang target victim, saka nila isa-isang didiktahan ang pobreng kausap at papasunurin sa kanilang mga sinasabi.

Dahil tila nahipnotismo si Alter, nalimas ang kaniyang P27,000 matapos i-swipe ang credit card ng walang kapalit na anumang dokumento at resibo!

Sa hokus-pokus na ito, ang mga hudas estas barabas at magkakabagang na sindikato, mas malakas pa ang kalakhak kay satanas sa nakulimbat na pera!

All Points Bulletin ng BITAG sa publiko, huwag padadala sa mga boladas at mabulaklak na salita ng mga ahente na nag-aalok ng kung ano-anong produkto. Maging alerto at mapanuri sa mga pinapatulang transakyon dahil ang mga kawatan at mga manggagantso, naghahanap lang ng oportunidad at tiyempo bago umatake sa kanilang modus.