In a crackdown on SIM card fraud, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has deactivated more than 2.25 lakh mobile phone numbers in Bihar and Jharkhand during the month of April. The deactivation comes as a result of the majority of these SIM cards being procured through forged documents, raising concerns about the use of illegal and unethical means to obtain mobile connections, according to a PTI Report.
Also Read: TRAI Releases Recommendations on Ease of Doing Business in Telecom and Broadcasting Sector
Blacklisting of Unethical Point of Sales
The DoT, along with Telecom Service Providers, has also blacklisted 517 Point of Sales (PoS) that were found to be involved in unethical and illegal practices while issuing SIM cards. These actions mark a significant step towards curbing fraudulent activities and ensuring a more secure telecom environment.
According to a statement released by the Special Director General Telecom, DoT (Licensed Service Areas-LSA-Bihar), the deactivation of the mobile numbers aims to address the widespread use of SIM cards obtained through illegal or unethical means. Telecom Service Providers are taking further legal action against both the fraudulent PoS and the subscribers involved in such activities.
Also Read: TRAI to Direct Telecom Operators to Report 5G Users Separately: Report
FIRs Lodged Against Fraudulent Activities
The jurisdiction of DoT's LSA (Bihar) also covers Jharkhand, where similar actions have been taken to combat SIM card fraud. Telecom Service Providers have lodged FIRs (First Information Reports) in several districts of Bihar and Jharkhand to initiate legal proceedings against those involved in fraudulent SIM card activities.
Collaboration with State Police
To strengthen their efforts, the DoT's Patna Office has collaborated with the state police, sharing intelligence obtained through advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and facial recognition. The data analysis, conducted using the Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification (ASTR) system, has enabled the identification of SIM fraudsters. The state police have expressed their commitment to take suitable action against these individuals, according to the report.
Also Read: TRAI Issues Directions to Telcos to Curb Unauthorized Promotions Using Telecom Resources
Facial Data Analysis for Actionable Intelligence
The facial data of approximately seven crore SIM subscribers in Bihar and Jharkhand has been analyzed, resulting in actionable intelligence, the report added. This collaboration between the DoT, Telecom Service Providers, and state police demonstrates a united front against SIM card fraud and a determination to protect the interests of legitimate subscribers.
DoT's Proactive Role in Curbing Cybercrime
The Department of Telecommunications, headquartered in New Delhi, has taken a proactive role in curbing cybercrime by conducting facial analysis of over 87 crore SIM subscribers across India. This analysis, performed in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, has provided valuable insights to the DoT's field units, enabling them to take swift action against SIM fraudsters with the assistance of Telecom Service Providers and state police.
Also Read: Phones Should Support Cell Broadcasting and Disaster Alerts: Govt
As the reliance on technology increases, ensuring the integrity of SIM cards and combatting cyber fraud remains a critical concern. The joint efforts of the DoT, Telecom Service Providers, and law enforcement agencies signify a commitment to maintaining a secure and trustworthy telecom ecosystem in India.