Govt to set up a digital intelligence unit to tackle pesky calls, financial duplicity

The telecom ministry will set up an intelligence unit and a consumer protection system to tackle pesky calls, financial duplicity.

intelligence units to tackle pesky calls
Intelligence units to tackle pesky calls

“In the meeting, the Minister of Communication directed the authorities to take strict action against the telemarketers and individuals involved in harassment of telecom subscribers. Further, the minister observed that telecom resources are also being used to carry out financial frauds and dupe the common man of his hard-earned money,” the statement read.

To take strict action against financial irregularities, the government is planning to set up an intelligence unit and a consumer protection system to address the rising concern and irritation of consumers over Unsolicited Messages on mobile phones, repeated harassment through SMS, promising fraudulent loan transactions, and above all make the digital transaction safe and secure.

“Clear directions were issued to the officials to take strict and tangible action to stop such activities immediately,” a statement said on Monday.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) already has regulations in place to check pesky calls. However, several unregistered telemarketers still make calls to people which often also leads to fraudulent incidents.

On February 3, the Delhi High Court directed Trai to ensure “complete and strict” implementation of the regulation issued by it in 2018 for curbing Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC).

A high-level meeting chaired by communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also decided that a web/mobile application and SMS-based system shall be developed for redressal mechanism which will enable telecom subscribers to lodge their complaints related to matters involving Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC).

“The officials inform the minister that for UCC and financial fraud-related complaints, time is of the utmost essence and quick time-bound action will help in reducing such menaces.

“Accordingly, a nodal agency named as Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU) will be set up. The main function of the DIU will be to coordinate with various LEAs (Law Enforcement Agencies), financial institutions, and telecom service providers in investigating any fraudulent activity involving telecom resources,” the statement said.

However, several unregistered telemarketers still make calls to people which often also leads to fraudulent incidents. At the license service area level, Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP) system will also be created.

“The above system will strengthen the trust of people in the digital ecosystem and will make financial digital transactions primarily through mobile more secure and reliable, which will result in the promotion of Digital India,” the statement said.

Prasad has directed the officials of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to conduct a meeting with telecom operators and telemarketers to apprise them of the seriousness of the issue and to ensure compliance with laid down rules and procedures in this regard.

In case of any violation, imposing a financial penalty on telemarketers and disconnecting resources in case of repetitive violations have also been proposed, as per the statement.

“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 statement said.

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