Apparently, even cartoon characters can pass SIM registration, IT expert reveals
MANILA, Philippines — Aside from animals, even cartoon and anime characters could register subscriber identity module (SIM) cards without a sweat, Information Technology expert Mike Santos showed on Thursday.
Santos, an invited resource person, demonstrated how scammers could register SIM cards using the identities of cartoon and anime characters in a press conference held by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC).
Based on the actual test he conducted, Santos was able to register a Globe SIM in less than three minutes under the identity of the cartoon character “Bart Simpson” from the animated comedy “The Simpsons.”
Another test conducted in a Smart SIM — but this time using the face and name of “One Piece” anime character “Monkey D. Luffy” — yielded the same result.
According to PAOCC Undersecretary Gilbert Cruz, this is the reason of the proliferation of pre-registered SIM cards generated by different groups, primarily by independent contractors or others affiliated with Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos).
“There are contractors doing SIM registrations; some are doing Facebook, e-mail, and Viber. There are different types of contractors depending on what they (scammers) need,” Cruz told reporters.
According to the PAOCC official, Santos used a “GSM modem” to input and register about 64 SIMs. Although not simultaneously, 64 cards would be registered for 192 minutes or over three hours — three minutes each using an unnamed software installed in a computer.
“Itong mga gadgets dito are the same gadgets sa mga Pogo na nahuhuli namin ginagamit nila ito sa mga online, crypto, and love scams nila,” he added.
(These gadgets here are the same ones Pogos use. They use this to conduct online, crypto, and love scams.)
To prevent registration under fake identities, Cruz suggested manual verification by scanning the identification cards or the pictures or selfies of applicants.
“Kailangan kasi sa tingin namin ng improvement pagdating sa ano yung know your client imagine si Bart Simpson na parang nakaprint lang siya hindi naka 2D pero tinanggap pa rin siya,” Cruz said.
(We think telcos need to improve their system in knowing their clients; imagine Bart Simpson was able to pass the registration.)
“So dapat instead of computer ang ginagamit eh siguro we can suggest na tao ang gamitin nila na nakikita nila if ever they want to ask something to that person na nagreregister siguro maglagay sila ng box dun na talagang malalaman nila na tao yung kasama nila di kagaya ng nakikita nila dito na picture lang we get from google and internet and then tinatanggap ng system,” he added.
(Instead of computers, they should use actual people so they can ask questions to the applicants and confirm if they are a real person. Unlike the process here where any picture from Google can be accepted.)