Trai fines telcos Rs 110 crore for failure to tackle pesky calls

Feb 6, 2024

NEW DELHI: Govt is taking strict action against mobile operators due to growing menace of unending pesky calls and financial frauds. Telecom regulator Trai has imposed a fine of Rs 110 crore as a “financial disincentive” on operators. And, an amount of nearly Rs 1,000 crore, that was siphoned off by cyber criminals, has been recovered by govt as it helped nearly four lakh users to recover their money.
Giving details of a widespread action against pesky calls and fraudulent telecom operations, the government said it has disconnected 55.5 lakh mobile connections that were acquired on fake or forged documents. This led to the freezing of nearly 9.9 lakh bank accounts and payment wallets as they were linked with mobile connections taken on forged documents.
Minister of state for communications Devusinh Chauhan told Rajya Sabha that 2.8 lakh mobile connections were disconnected for being involved in cyber-crime/financial frauds as reported by law enforcement agencies on National Cyber Crime reporting portal. Also, around 1.3 connections were blocked for involvement in cybercrime/financial frauds.
As action was initiated against mobile connections, 2.2 lakh WhatsApp accounts were disengaged that were linked to disconnected mobile connections taken on fake or forged documents.
Govt has initiated a series of steps against telcos for failing to control flow of unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) towards millions of mobile customers, despite there being a series of counter measures that have largely remained ineffective.
Chauhan said several measures have been taken to protect consumers from pesky calls and spam commercial messages. “Trai has issued Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018, and directions are issued time to time. Users have the option to block commercial communications in specific categories or all of them.”

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