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Thursday, June 20, 2024

DoT cracks down on fraud by blacklisting entities misusing SMS headers

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In Short:

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has taken action against SMS fraud and blacklisted entities responsible for misusing eight SMS headers for cybercrime, sending over 10,000 fraudulent messages in the past three months. The DoT, in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, has blocked these entities from exploiting telecom resources for criminal activities. Stringent measures have also been implemented to regulate telemarketing SMS/calls to protect citizens from further victimization.

DoT Blacklists Entities Misusing SMS Headers for Fraud
Following information provided by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has taken decisive action against the misuse of eight SMS headers for cybercrime. It was found that over 10,000 fraudulent messages were sent using these headers in the past three months.

Action Against SMS Fraud

As part of the crackdown, the principal entities responsible for these headers have been blacklisted, along with all 73 SMS headers and 1,522 SMS content templates associated with them. This effectively prevents these entities from using any telecom operator to send SMS messages.

“None of these principal entities, SMS headers, or templates can now be used to send SMS through any telecom operator,” the Ministry said.

Collaboration with MHA

This proactive move to safeguard citizens from SMS fraud has been taken by the DoT in collaboration with the MHA through the Sanchar Saathi initiative, the Ministry of Communications (MoC) said on Monday.

The DoT has prevented further victimization of citizens by blocking these entities from exploiting telecom resources for criminal activities. Citizens can report suspected fraudulent communications at the Chakshu facility on Sanchar Saathi to help the DoT in preventing the misuse of telecom resources for cybercrime and financial frauds, the MoC said.

Regulating Telemarketing Practices

Additionally, according to the official release, stringent measures have been put in place to regulate telemarketing SMS/calls. Mobile numbers used for telemarketing activities face disconnection upon the first complaint, and prefixes such as 180, 140, and 10-digit numbers are prohibited for telemarketing purposes. Citizens can also report spam by dialling 1909 or using the DND (Do Not Disturb) service.

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