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Government Blocks 1.4 Lakh Mobile Numbers Over Financial Frauds



In a significant move to combat digital frauds, the government has taken action by blocking 1.4 lakh mobile numbers that were involved in financial frauds. This action comes as part of ongoing efforts to enhance cybersecurity in the financial services sector.

Financial Services Secretary Vivek Joshi chaired a meeting on cybersecurity in the financial services sector, where various issues, including the onboarding of banks and financial institutions on the Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System (CFCFRMS) platform, were discussed. The integration of the CFCFRMS platform with the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) was also deliberated upon, aiming to centralize the platform for effective collaboration between police, banks, and financial institutions to monitor and prevent fraudulent activities in real-time.

The meeting also addressed the phasing out of regular 10-digit numbers by banks and financial institutions, as prescribed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), and emphasized the use of specific number series for commercial or promotional activities.

Additionally, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has developed an AI-machine learning-based engine called ASTR to detect mobile connections obtained through fake or forged documents. As a result, about 1.40 lakh mobile handsets linked to disconnected mobile connections or misused in cybercrime or financial frauds have been blocked.

Furthermore, significant progress has been made in tackling digital payment frauds, with over 500 arrests made and approximately 3.08 lakh SIM cards blocked since April 2023. The government has also blacklisted 19,776 entities involved in sending malicious SMSs and disconnected 30,700 SMS headers and 1,95,766 SMS templates.

The meeting stressed the importance of additional customer awareness and sensitization programs by banks and financial institutions in regional languages to enhance the security of digital payments. Standardized sharing of information by financial institutions with law enforcement agencies was also emphasized for ease of analysis.

The comprehensive meeting was attended by officials from various key departments and organizations, including the Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Reserve Bank of India, Unique Identification Authority of India, Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, National Payments Corporation of India, and leading banks like Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India.

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