The Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) on Wednesday warned the public anew to be wary of e-wallet scams.
ACG director Brig. Gen. Sidney Hernia sounded the warning amid the continued proliferation of these scams circulated via text or social media following the extension of the deadline for the registration of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards.
Hernia said subscribers must be vigilant against unsolicited messages or phone calls, especially those offering deals that seem too good to be true.
He also advised the public not to be completely trusting when transferring money through e-wallet applications and to only do so with trusted individuals or businesses.
“The PNP-ACG is committed to protecting the public and preventing the occurrence of these scams. We will continue to carry out different police operations and activities to maintain a safe and secure environment in cyberspace and apprehend cybercriminals,”
Brig. Gen. Sidney Hernia said in a statement.
As the deadline for SIM card registration draws near, scammers are taking advantage of the confusion and panic among the public to trick them into sharing their personal information and bank account details.
These scammers typically pose as representatives of legitimate e-wallet companies or financial institutions and offer enticing rewards or discounts to lure victims into revealing their information.
Once the scammers have obtained the victim’s information, they use it to transfer funds out of their accounts and disappear without a trace.
Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Registration Act, which was the first measure signed into law by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Oct. 10, 2022, aims to fight scams being made through text and online messages.
On Dec. 27, 2022, the 180-day SIM card registration began and was supposed to end on April 26 but was extended for another 90 days.
SIM cards already in use but not registered during the registration period will be deactivated while new cards must be registered upon purchase.
About the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group
The Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) is a specialized unit tasked with investigating and preventing cybercrimes within the country. The group was established in 2013 through Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which recognized the need for a dedicated police force to combat cyber threats.
The PNP-ACG operates under the supervision of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and is composed of highly trained personnel with expertise in digital forensics, computer science, and cybersecurity.
Its mandate includes conducting investigations on various forms of cybercrime such as hacking, online scams, identity theft, child pornography, and terrorism-related activities.
To effectively carry out its mission, the PNP-ACG also collaborates with other law enforcement agencies both locally and internationally.
Sources: THX News & Philippine News Agency.