Technobiography

Mobile phones, services and applications. PCs, PDAs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Internet, gadgets, electronics, photography. A technology-life journal ... Relaxed prose, sometimes witty, sometimes funny, reflective and insightful. Short and sweet. Filipino.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Block Ko Mukha Mo! - Fight Against Cellphone-Related Crimes

Have you received fraudulent or malicious text messages? Or maybe a text scam? "Text back! You just won P1,000,000 from the Philippine Foundation!"

Or did your phone get lost or stolen?

Fight back! "Handang tumulong ang NTC". The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) now has a onestop public asistance center (OSPAC). Contact OSPAC at tel (+632)9267722 or (+632)4367722 or visit their website at www.ntc.gov.ph. The thing is, I've visited their website today (23 Aug) and couldn't find any info on NTC's campaign against cellphone fraud and theft.

NTC can block fraudulent, malicious or scam texters. This, I suppose, will be done after verification of reports from victims. With the cooperation of the telcos, it should be easy enough for NTC to have the offender's cellphone number (the SIM) suspended. The challenge is apprehending the offender. We don't want the offender to just switch SIMs. We want to catch the offender and give him/her the penalty deserved.

As for lost or stolen phones, NTC can have the handset blocked based on the phone's unique IMEI which is an identification number unique to each handset. Once blocked, the phone is theoretically un-usable. (The snatcher will just have to settle for playing Solitaire on the phone. Loser!)

This IMEI blocking service of NTC has been available since early this year. Problem is, the IMEI of some cellphones can be changed by some of our greenhills bretheren.

So, how effective will this campaign be? I'll remain skeptic until I see solid results. Results like actual reports filed, SIMs or phones blocked, apprehended offenders, or, ultimately, decreased incidence of cellphone-related crimes.

Or, how about fighting back against cellphone-related crimes through another scam service: Txt2Protect

- edwin

Read: Creepy Psycho Texter, Cellphone Theft - Inquirer's Special

Do you have any experiences with cellphone or SIM blocking? Tell me about it via the comments area or via e-mail to ka_edong@hotmail.com.

Here are telco hotline numbers if you need help or have questions about telco services:
  • pldt 171
  • globe 211
  • sun 200
  • digitel 1710
  • smart *888
  • bayantel 171

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