SIM registration extension used to 'hasten' text scams – DICT

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 16) — The SIM registration extension gave scammers a last chance to "hasten" their scamming methods, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said.

"I already warned that once we extend this [SIM registration deadline], scammers will use that to take the opportunity to continue and hasten their scamming methods using their respective cellphones," DICT Secretary Ivan Uy said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

A day before the initial deadline, Malacañang announced that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the 90-day extension of the SIM registration in a bid to increase more registrants.

READ: Gov’t extends SIM registration for 90 days

Uy acknowledged that scams are still prevalent despite the extension, but he said most of the scammers have "redirected" and "reprogrammed" their approach.

He said among the new methods is to ask users to click on a link that would redirect to a fake website to supposedly register their SIM cards.

Scammers also pretend to be e-wallet providers, urging users to re-register their SIM to activate their e-wallet, he added.

"That is not true," Uy clarified. "Once you register your SIM card, everything is still the same and you are still registered to your e-wallet."

The secretary warned the public anew not to fall for these scams and to register their SIM to "cut the avenue of defrauding."

As of May 10, the DICT has recorded more than 95 million SIM cards registered. Uy said they expect to hit the target number of registrants (around 100 million) in the following months.

SIM registration has been extended until July 25.