Senator calls on NTC to move fast to stamp out ‘SIM swap’ scam

7 Aug 2015

Philippines’ Senator Grace Poe has filed a motion requesting that the country’s telecoms watchdog, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), take exigent action to stamp out the so-called ‘SIM swap’ scam along with other cases of mobile identity theft, The Inquirer reports. In a statement supporting her resolution, Ms Poe said: ‘Phone scams like SIM swapping are becoming increasingly prevalent, thus there is a need to develop new methods that would protect the public from such fraud’. The problem of people swapping subscriber identity module (SIM) cards is relatively new in the Philippines, but the Senator is concerned to eradicate the problem before it becomes too big a problem. ‘The NTC must act swiftly on the SIM swap scam and cases of identity theft involving post-paid mobile phone subscribers that jeopardise sensitive and confidential banking information and pose a threat to the banking and telecommunications industry, for the purpose of protecting the public,’ she confirmed in filing Senate Resolution No. 1453. In addition, Ms Poe is calling on the industry regulator to draft new guidelines and impose penalties on any mobile operator found guilty of exposing end users’ personal information to third-parties. The SIM swap scam came to light in the Philippines after a post-paid customer of Globe Telecom complained of ‘illegal SIM replacement’ in which he allegedly lost PHP48,000 (USD1,050).