MANILA — Globe Telecom urged the public to be careful with sharing personal information over the internet, particularly in social media where they inadvertently expose themselves to cyber fraud.
“Cyber security is everyone’s responsibility, not just for the lawmakers, regulators, or the industry. We must all be mindful of the kind of information we send out online and be conscious about our own protection,” said Atty. Froilan Castelo, Globe general counsel.
In the digital age where many transactions happen online, more mature security layers in most websites are already in place. The use of mobile technology for passwords is another layer of security for consumers because it requires a second channel to verify authenticity of the account holder.
To commit cyber-fraud, sensitive customer details such as name, birthday, address, telephone number, employment and education history to access emails and other online accounts are being used to do unauthorized bank money transfers, retail purchases, or fund solicitations among other illegal transactions.
In order to combat cyber-fraud, consumers can limit the personal data they reveal online, making it difficult for scammers to gather information that may compromise one’s account. Even if a fraudster can get hold of their victim’s mobile number through an unauthorized SIM (subscriber identification module) replacement, if the rest of the customer information is not compromised, then fraud will be deterred. The so-called “SIM swap” happens when unscrupulous persons misrepresent mobile phone customers to request for SIM replacement which they use for fraudulent activities.
“SIM swap scam is different from cyber fraud. While mobile phones are currently being used to further verify the authenticity of the account holder, it is still necessary to ensure that the username and password of online accounts remain secure to prevent them from being accessed by anyone,” Castelo said.
He added “Data privacy of our customers is sacred to Globe and is part of our business policy. That is why we have procedures in place to protect customers’ identity but at the same time convenient enough for our 52 million subscribers. SIM swap scams are isolated cases and are actually the last step in making a fraudulent transaction. The fraudsters usually have most of the information they need such as the victim’s email address, bank information, and even copies of valid IDs before they apply for a SIM replacement.”
Earlier, lawmakers filed a resolution to ask the National Telecommunications to act on the SIM swap scam which they claim poses a serious threat to the public as well as to the banking and telecommunications industries.