The monkey business of SIM registration: Even Bart Simpson can sign up

After a photo of a smiling monkey was found to have bypassed the security checks for SIM registration, a tech expert revealed that even images of cartoon characters can be used to register mobile phone numbers.

During a briefing of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), Mike Santos revealed that he was able to register SIMs using fake IDs bearing the names and faces of TV icons like Bart Simpson and the pirate Luffy from the anime “One Piece.”

Santos’ attempt to get around the system proved to be successful, as he received a congratulatory message proving that he was able to register a SIM using a fake name and photo.

PAOCC Undersecretary Gilbert Cruz said scammers use the registration loophole to continue using SIMs under fake identities. SIM registration is mandated under Republic Act 11934.

Cruz urged telcos to beef up their verification and security measures for SIM registration.

“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 nagre-register siguro maglagay sila ng box doon na talagang malalaman nila na tao ‘yung kasama nila hindi kagaya nang nakikita nila dito na picture lang we get from Google and Internet and then tinatanggap ng system,” he said.