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DICT warns vs. stolen, preregistered SIM cards

Scammers may use stolen and preregistered SIM cards in tricking phone users, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Thursday.

Interviewed on GMA News’ Unang Balita, DICT Undersecretary Anna Mae Lamentillo said not only sellers but also buyers of stolen and preregistered SIM cards are liable.

“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 were reports about the sale of stolen and preregistered SIM cards. This is prohibited by the law and punishable not only with fine but also imprisonment.)

With the implementation of mandatory registration of SIM cards, Lamentillo pointed out that fraudsters may find other ways to perpetuate scams.

“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.

She advised the public to immediately report to their telco providers if their SIM cards are stolen because scammers might use their identity in illegal activities.

“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 the you will use is not identified or tagged to your name.)

Lamentillo added that scammers may also use “spoofing” where they can disguise themselves with a different display name in messages.

Aside from this, she said there are fake websites that are pretending to be part of the SIM registration process. Due to this, she advised subscribers to only go to the official websites of their telco providers.

Lamentillo warned that authorities will go after fraudsters who will use the SIM registration process to “defeat the purpose of the law.”

So far, a total of over 21.782 million of the 168.977 million subscribers nationwide have registered, according to Lamentillo. — Joviland Rita/RSJ, GMA Integrated News