The SIM Card Registration Law, which was enacted last year, has been expected to bring down – if not eradicate – the prevalence of cybercrimes such as online swindling and harassment.
Yet a recent report by the Philippine National Police’s Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit (PNP-RACU) in Calabarzon showed that despite the SIM Card Registration Law, many still fall victim to cybercrime incidents.
From January 1 (almost a month after the SIM Card Law went into effect) to August 31, the PNP- RACU IV-A recorded a total of 3,384 reported cybercrime cases.
More than half of these involve online swindling or estafa with 2,151 reported incidents, while data interference and illegal access came in second with 306 and 255 incidents respectively.
With more and more Filipinos turning to e-commerce and digital finance in the past years – a trend that was reinforced by the Covid-19 pandemic – experts say the threat of online scammers has become more prevalent.
And this is where the SIM Card Registration Law should’ve become an effective tool, right?
Unfortunately, as the recent hearings in Congress have shown, it’s “laughably” easy to bypass security measures set up by telecommunications companies, as photos of cartoon characters incredibly passed through the process of SIM card registration.
And there’s the recent raids of cyberscamming networks where authorities found thousands of unopened SIM cards that scammers managed to use in registering to social media accounts to lure their victims?
It’s been less than a year since the SIM Card Registration Law was enacted, but what is clear is that authorities and telecommunications companies should step up to their game against these cyberscams that victimize ordinary people.
If not, how can we guarantee the millions of telecommunications subscribers that they won’t fall into the prey of those wishing to steal their money – or worse, their identity?
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