Poe, the primary author of the SIM Registration Act, claimed that text-based scams continue to target subscribers, including recent messages claiming that their online bank account has been blocked.
“There are still SIM farms out there and spoofing tools. Sinister minds will never stop hatching ways of stealing information and duping people,” Poe said in a statement.
Although the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) reported a reduction in spam messages, the senator insisted that “we must never underestimate the lawbreakers.”
Poe added that the public should register their SIM number on or before the deadline of April 26, 2023, and that the DICT and all telecommunications companies (Telcos) should use all available resources to do this. According to the DICT, there are 169 million SIM cards in use countrywide, or around 45.8 million, or 27.12 percent of them.
All current subscribers are required to register their mobile numbers with their service networks under Republic Act No. 11934, often known as the SIM Registration Act.
The law intends to make it simpler for the government to trace digital fraud and hold responsible those responsible for deceptive actions, including online and SMS scammers.
According to her, the DICT may opt to prolong the enlistment time by a further 120 days, but all unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated at that point. Since just 25% of subscribers have signed up as of yet, the DICT has said it is considering extending the April 26 deadline.
Although the law allows an extension, Poe recommended using it to strengthen the government’s campaign for SIM registration.
“With the law, we expect all fraudulent and unwanted text messages to die a natural death. But we must not let our guard down,” Poe said.
“The extension period, if so decided by the DICT, will be for the legitimate subscribers to register and avoid disruption in their mobile phone services. This should not extend the heydays of the scammers,” Poe added.