The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Monday, said it has initiated targeted actions to protect citizens in response to reports of fraudulent activities involving mobile numbers in electricity know your customer (KYC) update scams.

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The Department said it has directed pan India international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) based blocking of 392 mobile handsets misused in cybercrime, financial frauds, and re-verification of 31,740 mobile connections linked to these mobile handsets.

“Vigilant, and alert citizens have been proactive in reporting of suspected fraud communications, via the ‘Chakshu-Report Suspected Fraud Communications’ facility, on the Sanchar Saathi portal of DoT. This helps the DoT in combating, and preventing cybercrimes, and financial frauds,” it said.

Citizens reported some cases of fraudsters using SMS, and WhatsApp messages related to electricity KYC updates, and malicious android package kit (APK) files, to manipulate, and gain control over victims’ devices, it said.

The DoT utilised the Chakshu portal for reporting, and analysing fraudulent activities, initially identifying five suspect numbers, it said.

“The DoT has directed all telecom service providers (TSPs) for pan India IMEI based blocking of 392 mobile handsets misused in cybercrime, and financial frauds. It also directed them for re-verification of 31,740 mobile connections linked to these mobile handsets,” it said, adding that failure in re-verification, will result in – immediate disconnection of reported numbers, and blocking of associated handsets.

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