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Telecom dept snaps 1.88-lakh fake connections in Punjab, Chandigarh, Panchkula | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

In a major crackdown on cybercrime involving the use of fake SIM cards for conning gullible individuals, the telecom service providers (TSPs) in the Punjab License Service Area (LSA) have disconnected a total of 188,460 fraudulent SIMs operational in Punjab and surrounding areas.

These SIMs were suspected to have been used for operating fake banking, trade and other financial transaction scams. (Representational Photo (Getty Images/iStockphoto) )

These SIMs were suspected to have been used for operating fake banking, trade and other financial transaction scams. Besides, many such SIM cards were being operated in other states using messaging platforms such as WhatsApp for duping people.

In a communique, field office of Department Of Telecom said that all the fraudulent point of sale (POSs) involved in such fraudulent activation of SIM cards have been blacklisted by the telecom service provider (TSPs) in their network and police complaints are filed against the fraudulent POS and subscribers for using fake IDs while obtaining SIM cards.

Balvinder Singh, deputy director general (DDG)- compliance, Punjab LSA said as per the available data, till May, 1,693 POS have been blacklisted by (TSPs) in their network and 69 complaints have been filed against 1,248 fraudulent POSs’ in all districts of Punjab, Chandigarh and Panchkula.

After the registration of the case, the police will question POS operators to understand their modus operandi and catch hold of people who were using alleged fraudulent SIMs.

These anomalies were tracked through the tool, called Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification (ASTR). It has been developed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for detecting individuals who have registered more than 9 mobile connections – the maximum allowed currently – to verify whether they have been created using legitimate means.

The Telecom Department has analysed the ASTR results and found that a total of 151,545 subscribers were issued SIM card by using the pictures of 14,282 individuals, with different names and address, -which mean picture and documents of an individual was used with different names over 100 times for issuing SIM cards.

The department probe has further found that 7,542 POSs were involved in selling 192,075 fraudulent SIM cards.


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