The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said on Thursday that thieves could scam phone subscribers by using stolen SIM cards that have already been registered.
DICT Undersecretary Anna Mae Lamentillo told Unang Balita on GMA News that both sellers and buyers of stolen and preregistered SIM cards are responsible.
“May mga report po na nagbebenta ng stolen SIM cards or preregistered SIM cards. Sinasabi lang po namin na ito ay ipinagbabawal sa batas at hindi lang po yan multa, may kasama po yang kulong,” she said.
(There have been reports of stolen and preregistered SIM cards being sold. This is against the law and is punished not just with a fine but also with imprisonment.)
DICT Usec Lamentillo said that since SIM cards have to be registered by law, scammers may find new ways to pull them off.
“Alam namin na yung iti-take advantage at yung gagamitin sa mga scams ay yung stolen SIM cards (We know that they will use and take advantage of stolen SIM cards),” she added.
Since identity thieves might use stolen SIM cards to commit crimes, she urged the public to notify their telco providers immediately if their SIM cards are stolen.
Preregistered SIM cards stolen, sold – DICT
“Kung ayaw mo mag-register meron silang mga preregistered SIM cards na ibibigay sa ‘yo, so yung gagamitin mo, hindi na naka-identify at naka-tag sa iyong pangalan,” she said.
(If you do not want to register, they have preregistered SIM cards that they can give to you, so the one you will use is not identified or tagged to your name.)
Lamentillo says that scammers may also use “spoofing,” in which they hide their identities by using different display names in messages.
She also says that there are fake websites that look like they are part of the SIM registration process. As a result, she recommended consumers only visit their telco companies’ official websites.
Lamentillo said that the authorities would go after fraudsters who use the SIM registration process to get around the law.
According to Lamentillo, nearly 21.782 million of the 168.977 million members nationally have registered so far.