'Scam, spam messages still alive'

'Scam, spam messages still alive'
File photo

SEVERAL individuals continue to receive scam and spam messages a year after registering their SIM cards.

Arlene, 24, acknowledged that despite the reduction, scam, and spam messages have not completely disappeared. SIM stands for subscriber identity module.

“So far, I can still receive them...but it has become fewer. It’s not like before when I would receive four in a day. Now, it’s reduced to one a week,” said Arlene, who requested to withhold his family name.

Others remain skeptical.

“It seems like there are even more scammers after SIM registration. It’s ineffective because they can’t filter the messages,” said Ariel, 34.

Jam, 29, is also cautious about the security of online SIM registration and whether it can truly stop scammers from obtaining personal information.

“There’s always a possibility that someone can register multiple SIM cards,” Jam said.

Republic Act (RA) 11934, also known as the SIM Card Registration Act, mandated a 180-day registration period beginning Dec. 27, 2022.

The original deadline for SIM registration in the Philippines was April 26, 2023. However, this was extended by 90 days to July 25.

A five-day grace period from July 26 to July 30 was given to allow users to reactivate their unregistered SIMs. During this period, users could still receive the one-time personal identification number for registration but had to connect to Wi-Fi to complete the process.

By July 31, all unregistered SIMs were permanently deactivated and could no longer be reactivated or registered.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed RA 11934 into law in October 2022. The law aims to promote accountability and provide law enforcement with a tool to help resolve crimes involving mobile phones and SIM cards, such as text scams and other digital crimes.

Audit

Meanwhile, Globe Telecom, in a statement, said it will fully cooperate with a government audit of its SIM registration database.

This comes as scam text messages continue to be a problem.

Darius Delgado, vice president and head of Consumer Mobile Business at Globe, said on June 30, 2024, that the audit would show their SIM registration data is accurate.

He noted that most scam messages now come from outside phone networks, using internet-based apps or fake cell towers.

Globe also urged the government to fully implement the National ID system. It believes this would make SIM registration more reliable by using a standard ID.

The company has been working to improve its SIM registration process. Last year, they checked their data and removed unverified registrations. They also turned off over 30 million unregistered SIMs after the registration deadline passed.

Globe uses several methods to keep its registration platform secure. These include strong data protection, live photo capture to prevent fake pictures, and limits on how many times someone can try to register.

The company continues to block SIMs involved in fraud.

It deactivated and removed from its subscriber base over 30 million unregistered SIMs following the lapse of the registration period for SIMs already in use before the RA 11934 took effect.

In the first three months of 2024, Globe blacklisted 36,549 SIMs from other networks, a 62 percent spike compared to the 22,455 competitor SIMs blocked during the same period last year.

Globe also deactivated 841 SIMs from its network in Q1 2024 after they were identified as potential sources of spam or scam SMS, or misuse.

The company currently has 58.8 million mobile subscribers. / INTERNS KATE THERESSE HAMILI OF HNU & DANA GRACIELLE OF UP TACLOBAN

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