DoT disconnected 21031 SIM taken on forged documents

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Pune: 8 May 2023

It is well known that SIMs subscribed on forged documents are involved in majority of cybercrimes. Such is the expertise level of fraudsters that they have created fake proof of identity / address documents, which can never be detected by human beings by analyzing a single case in isolation. Hence, Department of Telecom (DoT) had taken up the challenge for preventing cybercrimes by conceptualizing and implementing an innovative and indigenous Artificial Intellegence (AI) based and Facial Recognition powered solution (ASTR) – the NextGen platform for detecting and weeding out fake/forged SIMs.

The vision of the ASTR project is to analyze the whole subscriber base of all telecom Service Providers (TSPs) combined and cleanse the mobile subscriber database by identifying non-bonafide mobile numbers. The system uses subscriber images and subscriber database provided by the Telecom Subscriber Providers (TSP) to DoT, to detect same face and different names.

Maharashtra LSA carried out the analysis for its subscriber database and has identified total 21031 SIM suspected to be issued on forged documents and have been disconnected. Action is being taken to book the culprits and SIM sellers who are involved in such fraudulent activities. Such PoS/SIM sellers are being blacklisted by and across Service providers. Police complaints are being made for further investigation and taking necessary action on the culprits.