The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has deactivated more than 2.25 lakh mobile phone numbers in Bihar and Jharkhand in the month of April as majority of the SIM cards were allegedly procured through forged documents.
The Telecom Service Providers have also blacklisted 517 Point of Sales (PoS) who have been prima facie found to be involved in unethical and illegal practices while issuing SIM cards.
According to a statement issued by the Special Director General Telecom, DoT (Licensed Service Areas-LSA-Bihar) here, “In the month of April 2023 itself, more than 2.25 lakh mobile numbers have been deactivated in both states. The majority of the SIM cards were procured through illegal/unethical means.
Over 500 Point of Sales blacklisted
“Besides, 517 PoS have been blacklisted as they were found to be involved in unethical and illegal practices while issuing SIM cards. The Telecom Service Providers are further initiating legal proceedings against the fraudulent PoS as well as subscribers”.
Jharkhand also comes under the jurisdiction of DoT’s LSA (Bihar). As per the latest reports received, FIRs in several districts of Bihar as well as in Jharkhand have been lodged by the Telecom Service Providers, said the statement.
“The DoT, Patna Office is also in touch with the state police and has shared the intelligence devised out of artificial intelligence and facial recognition powered solution for telecom SIM Subscriber Verification (ASTR) analysis. The state police has also assured that suitable action will be initiated against SIM fraudsters (PoS/Subscribers)”, it said.
Approximately seven crore SIM subscribers’ facial data of Bihar and Jharkhand has been analysed and actionable intelligence has been compiled, it added.
Cyber fraud: A big concern
“Further, DoT (Bihar) and Telecom Service Providers and state police have agreed to work in cohesion to nab the SIM fraudsters. With the increasing reliance on technology, cyber fraud has become a significant concern. SIM cards have also become a new identity of almost every individual of this country. However, as it is said nothing comes without its drawbacks, and the widespread use of SIM cards has led to some unintended consequences. The cyber-world is witnessing new types of offenders and victims on a daily basis”, said the statement.
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It said, “The Department of Telecommunications (New Delhi) taking the lead and to curb cyber menace has carried out facial analysis of more than 87 crore SIM subscribers across India. The analysis has been carried out using ASTR in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing. The result of the analysis has been shared with Department of Telecommunication field units to ensure action against SIM fraudsters with the help of Telecom Service Providers and state police”.
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