The telecom ministry will set up a digital intelligence unit (DIU) to deal with complaints of unsolicited commercial messages or calls and cases of mobile frauds, especially in the digital payments space, an official release from the Ministry of Telecommunications said. A high-level meeting was chaired by Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad with the objectives 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.
“In the meeting, Minister of Communication directed the officials to take strict action against erring telemarketers and individuals involved in harassment of telecom subscribers. The method of harassment includes unsolicited commercial messages or calls,” a release from the ministry said.
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. “Clear directions were issued to the officials to take strict and tangible action to stop such activities immediately,” a statement said.
Ravi Shankar 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, it was proposed to impose a financial penalty against the telemarketers including disconnection of resources in case of repetitive violations, as per the statement.
It was decided that for effective handling of Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC)and also the financial frauds being done through misuse of telecom resources, a web or mobile application and SMS based system will be developed for redressal mechanism. This will enable telecom subscribers to lodge their complaints related to matters involving UCC.
“The officials apprised 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.
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.
“The minister also directed to devise special strategies, including blocking of telecom operations due to rising concern in Jamtara and Mewat regions for curbing fraudulent activities involving usage of telecom resources,” the statement said.