Ayala-backed Globe Telecom Inc. arrested a suspect for selling GCash-registered SIM cards following an intensified collaboration with law enforcement authorities.
Globe said Friday that a certain Mark Deo Antang, a resident of Camarin, Caloocan City, was nabbed in an entrapment operation by the Globe Security and Cyber Response Unit and the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group on Wednesday in Cubao, Quezon City.
“GCash and the wider Globe Group continue to be solid partners of PNP-ACG and other authorities in proactive efforts and response against cybercrime. As we make more arrests, we hope this sends a chilling message to other fraudsters,” said Ingrid Berona, GCash Chief Risk Officer.
Berona assured that GCash funds and data remain safe and secure as the e-wallet has boosted its security features for data protection.
The suspect is facing charges for violating Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act, Section 4 which classifies Misuse of Devices as a cybercrime offense.
Antang was busted for selling 556 pieces of Globe and TM SIM cards with verified GCash accounts. Police said the suspect buys GCash-registered SIM cards online at P350 per piece and then sells them for P600.
These accounts belonging to other people ended up being used by scammers to hide their identity or by individuals who want to breach e-wallet limits for online gaming.
“People who sell GCash-registered SIM cards enable criminality by being accessories to fraud. We will not relent in this campaign,” GCash Chief Legal Officer Maricor Adriano said.
From January to July this year, it blocked 784 million spam and scam texts, deactivated 14,058 scam-linked mobile numbers, and blacklisted 8,973 more. It has also partnered with banks on data-sharing to bolster anti-fraud efforts.
In another related development, PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. said foreign syndicates could be administering text scams targeting local telco customers.
“Based on our initial investigation and through our cooperation with law enforcement agencies and state investigators, it is highly possible that foreigners are behind the text scams that have plagued mobile users in the country.”
“They are working with domestic operators to purchase prepaid SIMs in bulk and use these to send ‘smishing’ messages,” said Angel Redoble, FVP and chief information security officer of PLDT and Smart.
The investigation of PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group revealed that the latest smishing attacks are most likely being sent person-to-person and do not originate from aggregators. Smart has intensified efforts against “smishing” attacks.
From June to August alone, Smart has deactivated 167,000 SIMs that were involved in the illegal activity.
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