Four illegal SIM card sellers arrested

The suspects said they were able to use the SIM cards for scams despite the existence of security features.

The National Bureau of Investigation has arrested four alleged sellers of registered SIM cards with verified e-wallet accounts in an entrapment operation.

According to NBI Cybercrime Division chief Jeremy Lotoc, their agents intercepted the transaction between the seller and buyer and tracked them down.

The SIM cards were being sold at P700 apiece online but the verification is being done by members of the chat group.

This was the initial information disclosed by the arrested suspects when they were interrogated about their modus operandi.

The suspects said they can sell at least 40 to 50 pieces of SIM cards per day.

Lotoc said patrons of the registered SIM cards include those involved in virtual casinos and online cockfighting (e-sabong) operations who can still access the e-wallet accounts despite the security features.

The NBI official said that based on their information, online selling of GCash verified accounts is rampant.

The suspects said they were able to use the SIM cards for scams despite the existence of security features.

The arrested suspects are facing charges of violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, the report said.

For its part, GCash said it strengthened its security features to prevent online scams as it sought the passage of legislation that would criminalize the buying and selling of “mule accounts.”

It also advised users not to sell their accounts, never share their MPIN and
one-time pin passwords, and not to open links included in emails or text messages.

To recall, Justice Secretary Boying Remulla announced the extension of the deadline for sim registration for 90 days.

“There’s a 90-day extension. But most of the services that come with the cellphones that are not registered will be cut off with the telcos,” Remulla said.

“So there will be a social media unavailability for those who do not register in the next 90 days,” he added.

The deadline for the SIM card and registration was 26 April before it was extended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

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