DoT launches Sanchar Saathi web to help mobile users avoid fraud

By using Sanchar Saathi portal, more than 40 lakh fraudulent connections have been identified and more than 36 lakh such connections have been disconnected so far

Mobile Security

New Delhi: The department of telecommunication (DoT) on Tuesday launched a citizen-centric portal, to help subscribers track their numbers, get stolen sim cards blocked, locate their lost mobiles and avoid getting trapped with mobile-related frauds.

Union communication minister Ashwini Vaishnaw formally launched the portal, which was in operation for the past few days. He said that the portal would help the mobile users verify the connections registered on their names, report fraudulent or unrequired connections, block the mobile phones which are stolen/lost and check IMEI genuineness before buying a mobile phone.

It has an integrated central equipment identify register at the backend for blocking lost or stolen mobiles and the system is equipped with artificial intelligence and facial recognition (ASTR) powered solution for telecom SIM subscriber verification to identify fraudulent subscribers across the network.

The minister said that various frauds such as identity theft, forged KYC, banking frauds can take place by misusing mobile phones. This portal has been developed to prevent such frauds. He said user safety is also an important part of the draft telecom bill. “By using Sanchar Saathi portal, more than 40 lakh fraudulent connections have been identified and more than 36 lakh such connections have been disconnected so far,” the minister added.

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With 117 crore subscribers, India has emerged as the second largest telecom ecosystem in the world. In addition to communication, mobile phones are being used for banking, entertainment, e-learning, healthcare, availing government services, etc. It is therefore crucial that the users are protected from various frauds such as identity theft, forged KYC, theft of mobile devices, banking frauds, etc, said a senior officer of the DoT.

In case any mobile device is stolen or lost, a user can submit the IMEI numbers on the portal. Information submitted by user along with a copy of police complaint is then verified. The system is integrated with the telecom service providers and law enforcement agencies. Once the information is verified, the system blocks the stolen mobile phones from being used in Indian networks.

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In case anyone tries to use the stolen device, the system allows law enforcement agencies to trace the device. “When the stolen device is recovered, the user can unlock the device on the portal. The system prevents use of stolen/lost mobiles. It also prevents mobile devices with inaccurate or forged IMEIs being used in Indian networks,” the official said, adding that the inbuilt telecom analytics for fraud management and consumer protection (TAFCOP) system would facilitate a user to check the number of mobile connections taken in her/him name using paper-based documents.

With the help of TAFCOP, the user enters her mobile number on the portal and authenticates using OTP. The system shows the total connections taken in her name using paper-based documents (such as paper based Aadhar, passport, etc.)

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In first phase, analysis of more than 87 crore mobile connections was carried out by the web portal. To handle the huge number of data processing, the system is using Param-Sidhhi Supercomputer. Multiple cases were detected where one photograph was used to obtain hundreds of connections.

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