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DoT instructed telecom companies to block 18 lakh mobile numbers: Know-why?

Due to rising cases of cybercrime, TRAI reportedly blocked 28,220 smartphones which were being used to conduct illegal practices. Now DoT has instructed the telecom companies to block the mobile numbers which were being used in these blocked devices for security reasons.

Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: May 20, 2024 14:51 IST
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Image Source : FILE Telecom

In the recent updates, there are around 18 lakh mobile numbers which will be blocked by the leading telecom companies of India. This move has been considered to be the biggest action taken ever by the government on cybercrime and online fraud. In the recent updates, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) reportedly issued an order to disconnect more than 28 thousand mobile handsets which were being used for cybercrime. Now the government has instructed the telecom companies to block several mobile numbers which were used in the blocked handsets.

18 lakh mobile numbers will be blocked in the coming time

As per the recent report, the government is set to block around 18 lakh mobile numbers across the country to protect smartphone users from cybercrime and online fraud, which has paced up over the past couple of years in India. Investigating the agencies of different departments have been found by these mobile numbers involved in the financial fraud. 

28,220 blocked devices

It was on May 9, when the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) issued an order to the telecom operators of the country, to block around 28,220 mobile devices. Apart from this, around 2 million (about 20 lakh) mobile numbers were asked to be re-verified, which were being used in the blocked handsets.

Cyber fraud complaint

The officials of the telecom department said that around 10 per cent of the 2 million mobile numbers have been re-verified by the operators. Telecom companies are on with the number verification within 15 days. As per the report of NCRP (National Cyber ​​Crime Reporting Portal), there has been a loss of Rs 10,319 crore via cyber fraud in 2023. During this period, a total of 6.94 lakh cyber fraud complaints were registered on the NCRP portal.

Why was the action taken?

As per DoT officials, cybercriminals were using SIMs of different telecom circles to commit fraud. They were reportedly changing mobile numbers and handsets repeatedly, which led them to avoid the investigating agencies. 

For example, SIM cards from West Bengal and Jharkhand were being operated from Delhi-NCR for cybercrime. To come under the radar of the investigating agencies, they used to change the SIM card and handset by making just one outgoing call.

Last year in 2023, the investigating agencies reportedly blocked around 2 lakh SIM cards due to fraud. A maximum of 37 thousand SIM cards were blocked in Mewat of Haryana. 

How to track cybercrime?

To track cybercrime, the government has said that telecom companies will have to keep a close eye on the pattern of SIM card usage. Special care is needed for those SIM cards which were used beyond the home circle.

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