It has been observed that telecom resources particularly mobile connections at times are being used for carrying out activities which can be termed as misuse of telecom resources.Some of the examples of these activities are:-
- Spam text message-Sending messages with links which when clicked by the subscriber results in financial transactions.
- Telecom Phishing-Obtaining details of bank account/OTP and transferring the money by calling the subscriber.
- Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC) – By doing marketing activities through mobile connections which are meant for personal uses and thus bypassing the DND feature.
- Robo or Automated Calls- Calls are made automatically by IT enabled systems for financially duping the customers.
1) Most of the activities as outlined above are carried out through the mobile connections obtained fraudulently and the actual user is different from the person on whose documents the mobile connection has been issued. This element of anonymity has further encouraged the misuse of telecom resources resulting in public inconvenience and financial frauds. It may result in distrust among the common public towards digital transactions and may also impede the growth of Digital India.
2) Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is undertaking a Proof of Concept of Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU)/ Telecom Analytics for Fraud management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP) which, inter alia, will enable a subscriber to get the
information about the number of mobile connections issued to him/her across all the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs). Further, the Subscriber Database of all the TSPs is being analyzed through the use of advanced Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence to identify fraudulent mobile connections.Such mobile connections identified through Data Analytics or reported directly by the existing subscribers will be required to be reverified by the respective TSPs. Although during the reverification process, the mobile connection which has been flagged will remain operational in order to avoid inconvenience to the genuine users flagged inadvertently. The activity of reverification of the identified subscribers must be
carried out in time bound manner by the TSPs.
3)As per instructions dated 09.08.2012, an individual category customer i.e. Local, outstation and Foreign) can subscribe to a maximum of nine mobile connections in his/her name across all the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) across all the Licensed Service Areas (LSAs). During filling of Customer Application Form
(CAF), customer is required to provide a declaration regarding already held mobile connections in the name of customer across all the TSPs across all the LSAs. Accordingly, the mobile connections held by a subscriber across all TSPs beyond 09 are in contravention to existing guidelines. This restriction is limited to six in J&K, Assam and North-East LSAs. This may be brought into notice of subscriber from time to time. Therefore, subscribers shall get their numbers disconnected which are beyond the permissible limit, failing which numbers acquired at the later date will be disconnected to bring total numbers within prescribed limits
4)Timelines:The following timelines shall be applicable for reverification of flagged mobile connections:-
- The outgoing including data services) services of the flagged mobile
connection shall be suspended within 30 days for Para 5(i) to 5(iii) and within
5 days for Para 5(iv).
- In addition to (i) above, incoming services of the flagged mobile connection
shall be suspended within 45 days for Para 5(i) to 5(iii) and within 10 days for
- If no successful reverification is undertaken for the flagged mobile
connection, the mobile number shall be disconnected by the respective
Licensee within 60 days for Para 5(i) to 5(iii) and within 15 days for Para 5(iv).
- In case a subscriber is on international roaming, or with physical disability or
hospitalization, additional 30 days shall be provided at each (i), (ii), and (iii)
above for Para 5(i) to 5(iii) only
The above timelines are applicable from the date of first intimation by the DoT/respective TSP to the subscriber regarding reverification of his/her mobile connection. The said timelines shall be regularly intimated by the TSPs to the subscribers of flagged mobile connections via SMSs/IVRS/email/ App or any other available methods. The subscribers shall also be regularly intimated about the reasons for barring of services as per above timelines.
Reverification is the process of confirming the identity of the existing subscriber with the records available with the Licensee. This may be done by using any of the digital methods available. The photograph of subscriber and his/her Pol document is compared by the authorized representative of TSP at the backend (existing details of the subscriber should not be visible to PoS) with the existing records to ascertain the identity of actual user. It is not necessary that the subscriber shall submit the same Pol document as submitted while obtaining the mobile connection. Any specified Pol document can be submitted. The verification shall be of the identity of the subscriber.
If the reverification fails, the mobile connection shall be immediately disconnected by the TSP. Action shall also be initiated by the respective TSP against Point of Sale (POS) who has issued fraudulent mobile connection. Further, TSP shall also ensure that other mobile connections issued by the same PoS are in compliance to the extant guidelines of DoT.