The government prohibits bulk SIM card purchases and mandates police verification for dealers.

To address the escalating instances of fraud within the telecom industry, the government of India has introduced a set of fresh regulations, primarily centered around the mandatory police verification of SIM card dealers.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

In response to the growing wave of fraud cases plaguing the telecom sector, the Indian government has taken the step of making police verification an indispensable requirement for SIM card dealers. The objective behind this directive is to prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining entry into the industry, thereby eradicating any potential for fraudulent or criminal activities related to the sale of SIM cards.

Furthermore, as part of its comprehensive approach, the government has opted to discontinue the sale of bulk SIM card connections. Bulk connections have often been exploited for illicit purposes, such as generating counterfeit identities or facilitating deceitful transactions.

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted the rationale behind these moves, noting that there is evidence indicating complicity among dealers in cyber frauds. The modus operandi frequently involves attackers purchasing numbers in large quantities, using them for fraudulent calls, and swiftly moving on to other numbers. The new rules state that the validation process for SIM card dealers will be conducted either by the licensee or the respective telecommunications operator. Those who breach the regulations will face a penalty of Rs10 lakh. Vaishnaw made it clear that SIM dealers found complicit in fraudulent schemes would be subject to this substantial fine.

These measures align with the government’s broader goals of safeguarding citizens’ interests and maintaining the credibility of the telecom sector. By imposing more stringent regulations and implementing comprehensive verification procedures, the government aims to establish a safer and more secure telecommunications landscape across the country.

As part of an extensive campaign to counter digital fraud associated with SIM cards, Minister Vaishnaw revealed that 52 lakh mobile connections have been deactivated. Additionally, a blacklist has been compiled containing 67,000 dealers. Since May 2023, a concerted effort has led to the lodging of 300 FIRs against SIM card dealers.

Alongside the government’s efforts, WhatsApp has taken action against fraud on its platform. Approximately 66,000 accounts engaged in fraudulent activities have been blocked. These accounts were responsible for distributing spam messages, phishing links, and other malicious content.

In a parallel move, Minister Vaishnaw explained that the 10 lakh SIM card dealers will be given ample time for verification. The concept of a “business connection” will be introduced, necessitating corporate subscribers to undergo KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures when obtaining a SIM card.

Unlike the previous bulk system, which required companies to maintain records of individual subscribers, the new business connection system mandates verification of the person who physically acquires the SIM card. This change is intended to curb fraud. Identity or address proofs provided in the form of physical Aadhaar printouts or cards will need to be verified by scanning the QR code to ensure their authenticity.

It is worth noting that government, defense, and law enforcement bulk subscribers will remain exempt from additional verification requirements, as Minister Vaishnaw emphasized.

The forthcoming regulations are scheduled to come into effect from October 1, granting dealers around six months to achieve compliance. Nonetheless, the detailed guidelines concerning these new penalties are yet to be published by the Department of Telecommunications.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Amazon India Today's Deals

Scroll to Top