Flooded with phone disconnect gripes from real users, to tame ‘phonies’ and cyber crooks

Faced with complaints from several genuine customers whose mobile phone numbers have been disconnected, the government has decided to step in.

DoT is flooded with complaints from genuine customers whose numbers were blocked without any intimation.

While states are saying they are following the Centre’s instructions, central ministries claim states are not properly verifying the numbers before making requests.

According to an official communication accessed by News18, the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued instructions to all DGPs/CPs of States/UTs to trace phone connections involved in cybercrime using the provisions of the re-verification instructions last year. Block immediately. SP/DCP level officers who are looking into the matter. This was done to curb the increasing cyber fraud every year.

The decision was also for connections obtained on fraudulent credentials and/or forged proof of identity/address after analysis of details including photographs or other parameters of customers during investigation or receipt of complaints.

But the Department of Telecom is flooded with complaints where genuine customers have raised the issue of disconnection of their numbers during the process to curb cyber frauds.

“Complaints have been received from genuine customers and requests have been made for reassignment of mobile numbers within a period of 90 days before the numbers are available for reassignment,” the department said.

When News18 spoke to various officials from Central Ministries as well as Superintendent of Police and Deputy Commissioner level officers handling cyber crime cases, it was found that all such frauds are being perpetrated through wrongly obtained SIMs. and genuine customers were caught in the process of forgery. Blocking those numbers.

“There are many reasons why genuine customers are suffering. One of the main reasons for this is that their proof of address or identity was misused. Also, the photo was used by the miscreants to get the SIM card. If a number comes under scrutiny, the system checks the photo and identity proof, etc., and if more numbers are running on a photo, identity, etc., it comes under scrutiny and faces disconnection . Sometimes it even cuts off the number of genuine customers who are using the genuine documents,” a senior official working in the security assurance wing in the DoT told News18.

Similarly, when News18 spoke to an SP-level officer working in the Madhya Pradesh Police, he said that sometimes the Investigating Officer (IO) prepares a list of numbers and due to lack of personal verification, real subscribers are also denied. Trouble has to be faced.

“A district head is responsible for making requests for disconnection. But, each district head receives multiple requests and practically it is difficult to verify each one as there are multiple agencies involved. IOs also ask for data only on the basis of identity or address proof, or photo during scrutiny. When the system shows the list of connections running on those numbers, the IO requests to block all of them,” the official said.

Similarly, in Jharkhand, which is famous as a hub of cyber frauds, police said it is difficult to identify genuine customers.

“We get requests from various states and public that the numbers are being used to defraud someone. When we check the details, we find that these SIM cards have been obtained through forged documents. When we request to block them as per the instructions, it is not possible to identify the genuine subscribers who may be sitting in some other states,” said a state cybercrime wing official.

There have been instances where one identity or photo was used to obtain dozens of SIMs.

new process

Now understanding the seriousness of the matter, it has been decided by the Government of India that any genuine customer who is stuck and facing disconnection can approach the service provider with original documents and get the KYC process done Is.

The thinking behind this move is that only genuine subscribers will come forward for reconnection.

what do the figures tell

According to DoT data, the maximum number of SIMs were disconnected in West Bengal (12,34,111), followed by Haryana (5,24,287), Bihar-Jharkhand (3,27,246), Madhya Pradesh (2,28,072), and North The location of the region. East (2,04,658).

Similar disconnection action was also taken in other states like Gujarat, Assam, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh recorded the lowest number of SIM hacking cases at 3,491.