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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FB posts offering ‘assistance’ with SIM registration are SCAMS

Several posts on Facebook are offering help to netizens in registering their SIM cards online. These are scams.

Jan 18, 2023

VERA Files

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Several posts on Facebook (FB) are offering help to netizens in registering their SIM cards online. These are scams.

These posts emerged early this month following the issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the SIM Card Registration Act in December. These scam posts continue to circulate this week, one of which uploaded a photo with the text: 

“Sa mga gustong magpatulong sa amin, FREE lang, basta i-share mo lang ang post na ito sa 10 groups mo at magmessage sa amin. (For those who want us to assist them, it’s FREE, just share this post to 10 of your other groups and message us)”

Aside from the free help posts, some also either require a small fee of P40 or offer cash assistance supposedly worth P5,000 to entice netizens into availing themselves of their services.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has warned against these kinds of services.

In a Jan. 6 public advisory, the NTC cautioned the public against entertaining any posts on social media offering such services, warning that “some individuals” are taking advantage of people with poor computer literacy skills.

“Be careful and don’t trust any person you don’t know that offers registration assistance, with or without payment,” it stated in Filipino, adding that SIM registration is free.

The suspicious posts often link to a scam website that asks netizens to provide personal information in order to start the registration process.

These posts started appearing several days after the mandatory SIM card registration started last Dec. 27. As of Jan. 15, 12.16% or more than 20.5 million of the 168.9 million SIM cards have been registered.

At least 34 posts offering such assistance are circulating on Facebook, garnering more than 7,500 interactions, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to ‘VERA, the truth bot’ on Viber.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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