Cyber security
Cyber security

Government Blocks 1.4 Lakh Mobile Numbers Linked To Financial Frauds

Financial Services Secretary Vivek Joshi on Friday chaired a meeting on cyber security in the financial services sector

To control digital frauds, the government has blocked 1.4 lakh mobile numbers so far that were involved in financial frauds, according to an official release.

Financial Services Secretary Vivek Joshi on Friday chaired a meeting on cyber security in the financial services sector in which various issues including onboarding of banks and financial institutions on the Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System (CFCFRMS) platform through API integration were discussed.

Integration of CFCFRMS platform with the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) to centralise the platform that will enable effective collaboration between Police, Banks, and Financial Institutions, allowing for real-time monitoring and prevention of fraudulent activities was deliberated, an official release said.

The banks and financial institutions are required to phase out the use of regular 10-digit numbers and use specific number series such as '140xxx' for commercial or promotional activities as prescribed by TRAI, the statement said.

The meeting took stock of the action points which emerged during the discussion in the last meeting held in November and reviewed the preparedness of the banks and other financial institutions in tackling the challenges arising from cyber security in the financial services sector, increasing trend of digital payment frauds, and readiness of all the concerned stakeholders in this regard.

During the deliberation, it was noted that the Department of Telecom (DoT) has developed ASTR, an AI-machine learning-based engine, to detect mobile connections taken on fake/ forged documents.

About 1.40 lakh mobile handsets either linked to disconnected mobile connections or misused in cyber-crime or financial frauds have been blocked, it said.

"DoT analysed 35 lakh Principal Entities sending bulk SMSs. Out of these, 19,776 Principal Entities involved in sending malicious SMSs blacklisted and 30,700 SMS Headers and 1,95,766 SMS templates have been disconnected," it said.

Till date, more than 500 arrests have been made around 3.08 lakh SIMS blocked, around 50,000 IMEI blocked, and 592 fake links/ APK and 2,194 URLs blocked since April 2023, it said.

The meeting also discussed ensuring round-the-clock availability of resources to promptly address complaints will improve the fraud-to-hold ratio and formulating an action plan/ SoPs for returning of funds to the victim from fraudulent accounts, it said.

Banks and financial institutions are required to conduct additional customer awareness and sensitisation programmes in regional languages on the security of digital payments and sharing of information by Financial Institutions in a standardised format for ease of analysis by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), it said.

Besides officials of Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Department of Revenue (DoR), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), DoT, RBI, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination Center (I4C), National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Punjab National Bank (PNB) and State Bank of India (SBI) attended the meeting.

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