Sun. Apr 21st, 2024
Lost Your Mobile Phone? No worries, ‘Sanchar Saathi’ comes to rescue you

The safety and security of the users are integral parts of Digital India. Taking this into account, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Communications, launched the Sanchar Saathi portal on Tuesday. The Department of Telecom in-house portal allows citizens to check the connections registered on their names, report unrequired connections, block the mobile phones which are stolen, check IMEI authenticity before buying a mobile phone.

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, and availing government services. It is therefore crucial that the users are protected from various frauds such as identity theft, forged KYC, theft of mobile devices, and banking frauds.

The minister said that various frauds such as identity theft, forged KYC, and 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. He urged the users to visit the portal and avail the services. Link of the portal is (https://sancharsaathi.gov.in).

Centralized Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)

In case any mobile device is stolen or lost, a user can submit the IMEI numbers on the portal. The information provided by the user, along with a copy of the police complaint, undergoes a verification process. This system is effectively linked with Telecom Service Providers and Law Enforcement Agencies.

Upon successful verification, the system takes immediate action to block the stolen mobile phones from being used on Indian networks. In case anyone tries to use the stolen device, the system allows Law Enforcement Agencies to trace the device. Once the stolen device is recovered, the user can proceed to unlock it through the portal. This comprehensive system serves to prevent the use of stolen or lost mobile devices within India. It also prevents mobile devices with inaccurate or forged IMEIs being used in Indian networks.

Know Your Mobile

It facilitates the citizens to check the genuineness of IMEI of their mobile device. In addition, the Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP) system enables users to assess the number of mobile connections registered in their name through paper-based documents.

To initiate the process, the user enters their mobile number on the portal and undergoes authentication through a One-Time Password (OTP). Subsequently, the system displays the total count of connections associated with the user’s name, as documented through paper-based records. This functionality empowers users to identify any fraudulent connections.

ASTR (Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification).

To address the issue of cyber-frauds facilitated by mobile connections obtained through  fake or forged documents, the Department of Telecom has developed an AI powered tool– ASTR to identify SIMs issued using fraudulent or forged documents. ASTR used various techniques of facial recognition and data analytics. In the first phase, connections with paper based KYC were analysed.

Success using ASTR

In the first phase, analysis of more than 87 crore mobile connections was carried out. For such a large data processing, Param-Sidhhi Supercomputer was used. Multiple cases were detected where one photograph was used to obtain hundreds of connections.

A total of 40.87 Lakh suspected mobile connections were detected. After due verification 36.61 Lakh connections have already been disconnected. Remaining are under process. 40,123 Point of Sales (PoS) involved in selling such mobile connections, have been blacklisted by the service providers and more than 150 FIRs have been lodged across India. The details of disconnected numbers have been shared with banks, payment wallets and social media platforms for disengaging these numbers with their accounts.

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