The Union Information Technology Minister said that more than 66 Lakh suspicious mobile connections have been detected while nearly 17,000 mobile handsets have been blocked
Authorities have also deactivated 8 Lakh payment wallets, which were used to make fraudulent transactions.
Fraudsters at certain hotspots in the country are feeling the pressure and we would like to increase this pressure significantly, the minister said
The union government has banned more than 66,000 WhatsApp accounts in the past three months as part of its crackdown on spam job calls.
“Recently, there was a rise in the number of fraudulent spam calls received over the app and to curb this, we have blocked 66,000 such accounts,” said the Union Information Technology Minister while addressing an event on Thursday (August 17).
In addition, authorities have also deactivated 8 Lakh payment wallets, which, as per the minister, were used to make fraudulent transactions. The minister added that more than 66 Lakh suspicious mobile connections have been detected while nearly 17,000 mobile handsets have been blocked.
“Fraudsters at certain hotspots in the country are feeling the pressure… We would like to increase this pressure significantly now for the protection of Digital India beneficiaries,” Vaishnaw said.
He added that WhatsApp accounts connected with fraudulently issued mobile connections would also be blocked. Citing his rationale, the minister said that WhatsApp policies state that accounts created via fraudulent means could be terminated.
Vaishnaw also reiterated that the move to ban WhatsApp accounts and deceptive mobile connections would have an ‘impact’ on cyber frauds in the country.
The disclosures and findings were attributed to the recently launched ‘Sanchar Saathi’ portal and Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification (ASTR) tool.
These developments have a direct bearing on the Indian consumer internet space, which is an important cog of the homegrown digital economy.
The development follows a surge in incoming international spam calls to WhatsApp users in the month of May. Back then, many users had complained that they were receiving spam job calls from numbers with country codes belonging to Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Many were receiving video calls and messages from spammers.
Close on the heels of that, the IT Minister unveiled the Sanchar Saathi portal to enable citizens to avail a slew of services ranging from blocking stolen or lost phones to reporting fraudulent connections. The portal has so far analysed 114 Cr connections in the country and has led to the blacklisting of 67,000 points-of-sale (PoS) for issuing fraudulent connections.