243 million spam messages blocked in 5 months

By Luu Quy   May 15, 2023 | 04:52 pm PT
243 million spam messages blocked in 5 months
A man is on the phone in Hanoi, April 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy
Telecom providers have blocked 243 million spam messages in over five months, but have not been able to stop the problem entirely.

The spam messages were blocked between Nov. 1 last year and April 15 this year, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications.

In the first 10 months of 2022, 481 million messages were blocked.

However, many people have said the number of spam messages and calls they have received has not decreased. Most of the calls are from landline phones to advertise products and services, while spam messages tend to be scams or offer sexual content and services.

The ministry said part of the reason was that those who spread spam messages use a fake base transceiver station (BTS) to hack into the telecom network and send spam messages without being tracked.

Aside from SMS messages, there are a number of spam messages sent via platforms such as Facebook Messengers, Zalo and Viber.

At a meeting in early May, the ministry said that in March and April, its units had detected 10 cases of using fake BTS stations to spread fraudulent messages.

To cope with the situation, the ministry has added regulations to the draft revised Law on Telecommunications and requested all phone subscribers to verify their personal information.

Those who fail to verify their information will be locked from making calls and sending text messages.

Vietnam has 127 million mobile phone numbers in use, 96% of which belong to either Vinaphone, Viettel or MobiFone, according to the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority.

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