Tighten measures to stem SIM swap fraud, says credit card group

MAJOR telecommunication players, lawmakers, and regulators should institute measures to stem the rising tide of fraudulent credit card transactions due to the SIM card swap.

In a statement on Thursday, industry group Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP) said this is its main message in separate letters to Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and the House of Representatives.

“The industry has been experiencing high volumes of fraud cases causing financial detriment. These perpetrators have carried out fraud by using the various digital payment platforms to commit crime,” CCAP Executive Director Alex Ilagan was quoted as saying in the letter.

According to CCAP, fraudulent credit card operations via remote and other digital payment channels have surged by 21 percent in the country since the onset of the global pandemic, which led customers to switch to remote and other digital payment channels to avoid face-to-face restrictions.

The “virtual account take over” scam is the most common type of credit card theft, the group, which represents the country’s 18 major credit card companies, stressed. This entails taking control of and gaining access to unwitting consumers’ one time passwords, allowing fraudsters to conduct OTP-validated online transactions.

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