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DoT and MHA Launch Crackdown on SMS Fraud Through Sanchar Saathi Initiative

New Delhi: To safeguard citizens from SMS fraud, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has launched a decisive campaign under the Sanchar Saathi initiative. This effort comes in response to information provided by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), MHA, regarding the misuse of eight SMS headers for sending fraudulent communications aimed at committing cyber-crimes.

The DoT has uncovered that more than 10,000 fraudulent messages were sent using these eight headers over the past three months. These headers belonged to eight different Principal Entities (PEs). A comprehensive analysis of other SMS headers and templates owned by these entities was conducted, leading to the blacklisting of all the implicated PEs, along with their 73 SMS headers and 1,522 SMS content templates. Consequently, these entities, headers, and templates are now barred from sending SMS through any telecom operator.

This preventive measure by the DoT is a significant step towards protecting citizens from potential victimization by cyber-criminals. The DoT reaffirms its dedication to safeguarding citizens against cybercrime and financial fraud.

To further bolster these efforts, citizens are encouraged to report suspected fraud communications via the Chakshu facility on the Sanchar Saathi platform. This will assist the DoT in preventing the misuse of telecom resources for illicit activities.

Telemarketing SMSs and Calls: A Guide for Citizens

Prohibition of Mobile Numbers for Telemarketing: Mobile numbers are strictly prohibited from being used for telemarketing purposes. If a consumer uses their telephone connection to send promotional messages, their connection will be subject to disconnection upon the first complaint, and their name and address may be blacklisted for two years.

Identifying Telemarketing Calls: Telemarketing calls can be identified by their prefixes, such as 180 and 140, while 10-digit numbers are not permitted for telemarketing activities.

Reporting Spam: Citizens can report spam by dialing 1909 or using the Do Not Disturb (DND) service. This initiative is part of the broader effort to enhance the security and integrity of telecommunications services in India.

The Sanchar Saathi initiative, with its robust measures against SMS fraud, exemplifies the government’s proactive stance on cyber security and consumer protection. Through continued vigilance and citizen cooperation, the DoT aims to create a safer digital environment for all.

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