The Philippine National Police (PNP) pushed anew for the mandatory registration of mobile phone numbers as part of intensified efforts in cracking down against cybercrimes.
“If you could just imagine, like in other countries where you register your cellphone number or unit, scams can be avoided because they know it’s their number. But that is not the case). We are lobbying for this,it’s not only us. It’s still up to lawmakerson what to do,” PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on the sidelines of the launch of the Enhanced Anti Cybercrime Campaign, Education, Safety And Security (E-Access), an online verification platform against cybercriminals, in Camp Crame on Thursday partly in Filipino.
Eleazar said this is among the limitations they are dealing with in going after cybercriminals who use various prepaid SIM cards in scams and other illegal activities.
“But for now, aside from lobbying for that, aside from registration of SIM cards, where you cannot just buy it from some store, we are working on the limitation that we have. We are also engaging other stakeholders like Facebook, given the procedures that they have particularly on taking down posts that should not be posted in these platforms,” he added.
Using the E-Access platform, netizens can check whether an e-mail address, website, mobile number or social media account has been the subject of a verified complaint or involved in a pending criminal case for cybercrime violations based on data from the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group.
Eleazar said the project is timely as there has been an increase in cybercrimes as the coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay at home and do work online.
“During this pandemic, We have seen a downtrend in crimes — the index crimes, the barometer of peace and order. But for cybercrime, we saw that these increased). We have a cybercrime law but we have so many limitations, but what we want is a realistic doable measure where we can alleviate the plight of our netizens. We are not telling you that we can solve all of these problems but we can assure you that we are trying to improve this one,” Eleazar said partly in Filipino.
These include cases of extortion and other scams with the use of the Internet.
The platform which can be accessed by going to cybercrimewatch.pnp.gov.ph has two divisions — cyber web and cybercrime watch.
Cyber web can be used to file complaints and report online scammers which can be used as a basis for operation while the cybercrime watch is where netizens can verify a social media account, person, cell phone number, and e-mail addresses with cybercrime complaints.
The website also contains top reported crimes and tips on how to avoid them, especially cybercrimes.