Centre Blacklists "Principal Entities" In Crackdown On SMS Scammers

The Department of Telecom has taken decisive action to protect citizens from potential SMS fraud through the Sanchar Saathi initiative.

Centre Blacklists 'Principal Entities' In Crackdown On SMS Scammers

Over 10,000 fraudulent messages were sent using 8 headers in last three months (Representational)

New Delhi:

In a major crackdown on SMS scammers, the government has blacklisted 'principal entities' behind SMS headers that were used to send over 10,000 fraudulent messages over the past three months, according to an official release.

The Department of Telecom (DoT), in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has taken decisive action to protect citizens from potential SMS fraud through the Sanchar Saathi initiative, it said.

Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) under the Union Home Ministry gave information about the misuse of eight SMS headers for sending fraudulent communications for committing cybercrime.

It was noted that more than 10,000 fraudulent messages were sent using these eight headers in the past three months. The principal entities which were the owners of these eight SMS headers have been blacklisted.

'Principal entities' in telecom parlance are business or legal entities sending commercial messages to telecom subscribers through SMS. A header means an alphanumeric string assigned to a 'principal entity' to send commercial communications.

All the 73 SMS headers and 1,522 SMS content templates owned by these principal entities were also blacklisted.

"⁠None of these principal entities, SMS headers or templates can now be used to send SMS...," it said.

The DoT has prevented further potential victimisation of citizens by blacklisting these entities and reiterated its commitment to safeguarding citizens against cybercrime.

"Citizens can report suspected fraud communications at Chakshu facility on Sanchar Saathi to help DoT in the prevention of misuse of telecom resources for cyber-crime and financial frauds," the release said.

It warned that the use of mobile numbers for telemarketing activities is not permitted.

If a consumer uses their telephone connection to send promotional messages, their connection will be liable for disconnection on the first complaint, and their name and address may be blacklisted for two years.

Telemarketing calls can be identified by their prefixes: 180 and 140, it said asserting that 10-digit numbers are not permitted for telemarketing.

"To report spam, dial 1909 or use the DND (Do Not Disturb) service," the release added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)