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BSP supports SIM card registration after recent SMS spam issue

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced that it’s supporting the mandatory SIM card registration in an attempt to fight scammers after the recent SMS spam issue.

Governor Benjamin Diokno of the BSP shared that the recent rise in phishing and cyber-attacks was “not totally unexpected.” He added that the health crisis pushed more people to digitalize their transactions, hence the increase in related incidents.

The issue being mentioned is the spam texts messages that a lot of people are receiving recently. The text invites the receiver to a job, with an expected salary amount, and a link to a suspicious website.

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Diokno says that they exactly know what’s wrong with the system, hinting at the easy access to SIM cards as a big contributor.

“Our system is too lenient… we don’t require those with prepaid cards to register. They have to be registered,” Diokno said.

As per the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), it’s hard to trace the culprits behind the spam texts as they are using prepaid numbers.

This is something the mandatory SIM registration law could be useful, which is currently pending at the higher senate to become a law.

With this law, purchasing a brand new prepaid SIM will be more controlled. Before getting one, the user has to present a valid ID, photo, and sign a control-numbered registration form.

Diokno assured everyone that the text spam issue doesn’t pose a major risk to the total portfolio of banking. However, they do remind their supervised institutions and the public to be more vigilant in keeping their accounts safe.

The National Privacy Commission found in its investigation that the said spam texts came from a global organized syndicate. The commission also clarified that it wasn’t due to leaks from contact tracing forms as there’s no evidence suggesting so.

To keep everyone safe, the NTC advice to not click any links sent by people you don’t know.

Via: GMA News Online

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One Comment

  1. This is a decoy argument just to push SIM registration. What benefit does it have in this situation? The phishing relies upon a person visiting a website link in the message. They’ve mentioned it might be an international gang of some sort, but not if the messages are even coming from inside the country. If they’re external, spoofing the sender is easy. And, if I had any intention of scamming I would just buy a few thousand cards right now. I’ve traveled to countries with SIM registration, and the sellers just register it under their name. Also, valid ID is going to hurt.