Safety Net infographic courtesy
MANILA — The Philippine Transportation Communication (PhilTraComm), an anti-fraud and anti-fake news group, has once again alerted the public about the evolving tactics of online scammers.
Despite the implementation of Republic Act 11934, also known as the SIM Registration Act, scammers have upgraded and refined their methods.
Aio Bautista, the lead convenor of PhilTraComm, revealed that instead of slowing down, text scammers have intensified their efforts and even utilized the SIM registration as a tool to further their fraudulent activities.
Previously, scammers would send spam messages, but now they have resorted to setting up fake SIM registration websites to deceive individuals and gather personal information online.
Bautista emphasized that scammers have adapted their strategies, even with the implementation of RA 11934 (the law mandating SIM card registration). “They pose as legitimate service providers and inquire about the status of SIM card registration, prompting unsuspecting victims to visit their fraudulent registration site,” he said.
“Cases of text scams are on the rise, and most scammers have upgraded their strategies,” said Bautista. “Trickily, they would ask potential victims if they have already registered their SIM cards and, if not, direct them to click a link that leads to their deceptive website.”
Bautista cautioned, “Don’t click the link! That’s all we need to do.” Clicking a link sent by scammers through email, messenger, or SMS can deceive unsuspecting victims into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card details, by impersonating trustworthy entities.
“It’s crucial to protect ourselves from phishing attempts by exercising caution while interacting online,” advised the PhilTraComm lead convenor. “Always verify the authenticity of websites and applications before sharing personal information. Additionally, ensure your devices and software are up to date with the latest security patches, and be cautious of suspicious links or emails that ask for personal information.”
Bautista also reminded the public that SIM card owners only need to register once, and if they receive a message asking them to re-register their SIM, they should pause and consider the possibility of scammers attempting to gain access to their personal data.
“Let’s remain vigilant and avoid becoming victims of these scammers,” urged Bautista.
The mandated SIM Registration Act expired on April 26, 2023, but President Marcos approved a 90-day extension to the mandatory SIM registration deadline, extending it until July 26, 2023.
Bautista expressed hope that subscribers would comply with the SIM card registration requirement, as it would help eliminate avenues for fraudulent activities conducted through text messages.
He added that there would be no further extensions beyond the July 26 deadline for SIM card registration. (ai/mtvn)