Philippines Passes Law to Fight Online Scams
A law requiring public telecommunications providers to compile a database of SIM cards and their owners was recently signed by the Philippines president. The new law establishes that Filipinos must register their identity with the phone companies in accordance with the law to avoid having their cards deleted. Law enforcement will be able to access user data in order to look into any crimes committed using a phone, and it will punish unauthorized registration. There are serious privacy issues being ignored.
Philippines detectives explain that one of the biggest problems with online fraud in general is the anonymity that simple tools like SIM cards allow, not to mention other more sophisticated online software and the easiness to move money around using crypto wallets. SIM cards currently play a big role as up until now nobody needed to register a name or an ID number to buy one, so scammers could buy as many as they liked and use them as they please without worrying about leaving any trace. With the new law before purchasing a SIM card users will be required to provide their full names and identity documents, with the goal of preventing criminals from concealing their identities. This will also apply to current prepaid customers, who will be required to register as well.
The law has been described as a critical step in combating text scams, bank fraud, and misinformation, and while many have seen it as a step in the right direction, there is a certain agreement that it is insufficient to reduce scams because it only penalizes fraudulent registration. If you want to find the person behind a scam, you’ll need a court order and the help of the police plus time, effort and money to pursue it.
Philippines investigators insist that the best way to fight online fraud and scams is prevention and education. When people are fully aware of the risks, and know that they have access to services that prevent fraud -like background checks-, they won’t be a victim at all. Information at the right time is the key to wise decisions.
On the other hand, concerns about personal data privacy have arisen as a result of the law’s potential to encourage surveillance of government critics, including human rights workers and journalists. Most governments label anyone who speaks out, and now law enforcement will have unrestricted access to these people’s data.
Other countries’ experiences also suggest that such policies may lead to an increase in data breaches, identity theft, and black markets for unregistered cards. In a country with widespread criminal activity in this sense, it is very likely that a black market for unregistered SIM cards is already growing by the minute.
Scammers will continue to find ways to dodge the law, so the best way to remain safe is to take safety measures before sending money to a stranger, or accepting an investment deal, or traveling to meet someone. Hire a background check in the Philippines from a reputable professional investigator as soon as you can to get to know who you are really communicating with, and consider other private investigations like surveillance when necessary. Not falling victim is the most efficient way to stop online crime!
© Copyright Philippine PI. All Rights Reserved. This content is the property of Philippine PI, LLC and is protected by the United States of America and international copyright laws.