In a resolute stance against cybercrime, the Indian government has seized and recovered over Rs. 1,000 crore belonging to 400,000 citizens from cyber criminals. Union Minister of Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, revealed these figures while addressing inquiries from Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi on combating fraudulent mobiles and cybercrime.
Vaishnaw disclosed that the government has taken extensive measures, including blocking 132,000 mobile connections and disconnecting an additional 278,000 connections associated with cybercrime and financial fraud.
The Union Minister highlighted the proactive approach adopted by the government, blocking over 5.5 million illegal mobile connections acquired through fraudulent means using fake documents. He emphasized the development of a detection system for such connections, leading to directives for re-verification by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and subsequent disconnection upon failure.
Furthermore, the government has introduced the ‘Sanchar Saathi’ portal, enabling citizens to verify mobile connections issued in their names, report illegal connections, and even flag stolen or lost phones, resulting in prompt blocking across all TSPs.
Vaishnaw emphasized measures to curb text-based cyber fraud, citing a significant 36% reduction in text-based cybercrime between February and November 2023 due to Artificial Intelligence (AI) analysis of text messages.
The government’s decisive actions extended to disengaging 220,000 WhatsApp accounts linked to illegal mobile connections and dismantling 162 illegal telecom setups since 2021. Additionally, over 365 cases were registered against errant Points of Sale, with 70,313 blacklisted, and 983,000 accounts frozen in banks and payment wallets associated with disconnected mobile phones.
These comprehensive measures underscore the government’s commitment to combatting cybercrime and securing citizens against various forms of fraudulent activities, showcasing an integrated approach encompassing technological advancements and strict enforcement to safeguard individuals from financial exploitation and digital threats.