In a bid to curve mobile frauds and pesky calls, the Government of India has decided to impose penalty on the tele-marketers including disconnection of resources in case of ‘repeated violations.’ Also Read - Reliance Jio records highest 4G download speeds in Dec 2020: TRAI
To tackle the peril of unwanted calls, the telecom ministry has planned to set up a digital intelligence unit (DIU) and a consumer protection system. Also Read - Landline users need to prefix '0' to call mobile phones starting January 2021: TRAI
As per a PTI report, the digital intelligence unit will co-ordinate with various telecom service providers, financial institutions, and LEAs (Law Enforcement Agencies) to investigate fraudulent activities that are carried using telecom resources. Also Read - Vodafone Idea now rebranded as Vi in India to take on Jio and Airtel
While the instances of unsolicited messages and fraudulent activities perpetrated through the mobile network are concerning, the move to tackle this menace followed the direction of telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who chaired a high-level meeting to address the issue. The meeting witnessed the presence of Secretary (T), Member (T), and DDG (Access Service).
As per the report, the government has decided to develop a web/mobile application and SMS-based system for ‘redressal mechanism.’ This will enable users to file against issues related to Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC).
The officials in the meeting cited that telecom subscribers who registered in Do-Not-Disturb (DND) service continue to receive from registered telemarketers. Even unregistered telemarketers (UTMs) send commercial communication to the subscribers which eventually lead to fraudulent incidents.
“The officials apprised the minister that for UCC and financial fraud-related complaints, time is of utmost essence and a quick time-bound action will help in reducing such menaces,” the PTI report stated.
Apart from DIU, a Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP) in mobile service areas will also be created to address the issue.
The telecom minister has directed officials to conduct a meeting with telecom operators and telemarketers to apprise them of the concerning issue and to ensure compliance with rules and procedures formulated by the government in this regard.
“The minister also directed to devise special strategies, including blocking of telecom operations due to rising concern in Jamtara (Jharkhand) and Mewat (Haryana) regions for curbing fraudulent activities involving usage of telecom resources,” the PTI statement said.
Notably, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) already has regulations implemented to check unwanted calls. While fraudulent incidents are still taking place especially via unregistered telemarketers where they send unsolicited messages promising loans, the government’s latest mobile will bring relief to telecom subscribers and put a halt on financial frauds.
(With PTI inputs)