Government Bans Bulk Sale Of SIM Connections To Curb Frauds
The government has also detected and deactivated 52 lakh connections that were fraudulently obtained by showing wrong IDs.
The Union government will make biometric and police verification mandatory for SIM card dealers as it seeks to tighten curbs amid rising cases of cyber frauds, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Thursday.
Bulk SIM connections are also now being discontinued and business or corporate SIM connections are set to be introduced instead, Vaishnaw said at a press conference in New Delhi.
"Our data and evidence suggest that there's complicity between the dealer and the fraudster," he said. "Dealers don't verify SIM card issuances according to the law. They sell SIMs without due process."
Vaishnaw said around 80% of the bulk SIM connections were genuine, but 20% people misused these. "We've done detailed studies, analysed bulk SIM connections and, as a result, we've made the decision to discontinue bulk SIM connection as a category altogether."
According to complaints received on telecom grievance portal Sanchar Saathi, the government has also detected and deactivated 52 lakh connections that were fraudulently obtained by showing wrong IDs, he said. "We have also blacklisted 67,000 SIM dealers and 300 FIRs have also been registered."
Around 17,000 mobile handsets, which were either stolen or fraudulently obtained, have been blocked. About 66,000 WhatsApp accounts have also been blocked and eight lakh payment wallets have been deactivated, according to the minister.
"Fraudsters at certain hotspots in the country are feeling the pressure," he said. "We would like to increase this pressure significantly now for the protection of Digital India beneficiaries."
Vaishnaw expects this move to have an impact on cyber frauds in the country.