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Digital Intelligence Unit Planned by Government to Help Deal With Fraudulent Transactions and Telecom Frauds

The government is planning to set up a nodal agency called Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU) to work with law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and telecom service providers for investigating fraudulent activities involving telecom resources. The new move is aimed to help better deal with digital frauds in India. Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the rising concerns over pesky messages and voice calls, repeated harassment through SMS messages, and fraudulent loan transactions, among others. The meeting was attended by officials including the Telecom Secretary and the Deputy Director General for Access Service.

Although telecom operators offer Do Not Disturb (DND) service to let subscribers restrict spam and pesky communication on their devices, officials pointed out that those registered for DND continue to receive commercial communication. This comes from both registered and unregistered telemarketers.

Prasad directed the officials of the Department of Telecom to discuss the issue with telecom service providers and telemarketers in the country and ensure the compliance of laid down rules and procedures in that regard, the Ministry of Communication said in the statement.

Additionally, the Union minister directed officials to plan strategies including blocking of telecom operations due to rising concerns in Jharkhand’s Jamtara and Haryana’s Mewat region for restricting fraudulent activities over telecom networks. Both regions are considered amongst the key hubs in the country for managing phishing attacks and financial frauds.

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).

Recently, there have been several complaints regarding financial frauds done through mobile phones by sending pesky messages promising loans etc. During the meeting, officials pointed out that even the subscribers registered in Do-Not-Disturb (DND) service continue to receive commercial communication from registered telemarketers (RTMs) and further unregistered telemarketers (UTMs) are also sending commercial communication to the subscribers..

The minister also directed the officials to devise special strategies including blocking of telecom operations due to rising concern in Jamtara and Mewat region for curbing fraudulent activities involving usage of telecom resources.
Prasad also directed the officials to conduct a meeting with telcos and telemarketers to apprise them of the seriousness of the issue and to ensure the compliance of laid down rules and procedures in this regard. the government has been proposed to impose a financial penalty against telemarketers including disconnection of resources in case of repetitive violations.

Pesky calls and fraud over mobile networks are not new as several people have faced similar situations where they have been duped on their money through fake calls. However, to control frauds, the Government has launched a digital intelligence unit (DIU) services. The DIU is specially designed to investigate all frauds via telecom resources.

The Government is reportedly planning to invest between Rs. 20 to Rs. 25 crores for setting the entire ecosystem. Also, the ministry said that if they get a complaint then that SIM and device will be blocked to secure online transactions. Besides, the Government is planning to take strict action against all telemarketers who harass customers.

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