Smart wants coordinated response versus scams 


SMART Communications, Inc. called for an investigation into the misuse of devices as well as a more coordinated response among stakeholders to address online and text scams. 

In a statement over the weekend, Smart Vice-President and Regulatory Affairs Head Roy D. Ibay said that rather than setting a limit to the production or importation of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, a probe should concentrate on the misuse of devices such as tablets, smartwatches, and electric vehicles.

According to Smart, SIM cards are largely imported and are used in the said devices aside from mobile phones.

“We need to dive deeper into how criminals operate and bring to light the entire cyber scam ecosystem. Instead of obsessing over or focusing on certain parts, all stakeholders should work together on a holistic solution,” Mr. Ibay said.

Smart is the wireless arm of listed telecommunications company PLDT Inc.

Previously, the Department of Information and Communications Technology said that to address text scams, it was considering a limit to the number of SIM cards that a prepaid subscriber could register.

The government is eyeing to limit the number of registered SIM cards to 10 per subscriber.

Meanwhile, Smart said it had blocked more than 24,000 mobile numbers involved in phishing, SMShing, and vishing activities a month after the July 25 deadline for SIM registration.

The telco company also prevented more than six million fraudulent messages from reaching customers in August.

The number of registered SIM cards totaled 118.91 million as of Sept. 3, based on data from the National Telecommunications Commission.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Neil Banzuelo

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