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Govt. purges 7 million mobile numbers in India to curb online scams, financial frauds

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The government of India is blocking mobile numbers of about 70 lakh people and also banning some IMEI numbers that have been known to target and scam people out of vats sums of money

India is grappling with a surge in online scams and financial frauds, prompting the government to implement decisive measures to protect citizens from falling victim to elaborate schemes. Recent reports reveal that a significant number of people have lost vast sums of money, ranging from lakhs to crores, to online fraudsters.

In response to this growing menace, the Indian government has taken a proactive step by blocking and then deleting 70 lakh mobile numbers associated with cybercrime or financial frauds.

This strategic move is part of a broader effort by the government to combat fraud, which also includes blocking the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of mobile devices and imposing restrictions on withdrawals from accounts flagged as suspicious. The goal is to prevent the potential misuse of these identifiers in future fraudulent activities.

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Financial Services Secretary Vivek Joshi emphasized the vulnerability of “dormant” and “mule” bank accounts during a recent meeting with officials from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), and the Ministry of Information Technology.

These accounts, characterized by low balances and sudden surges in activity, have been identified as potential targets for countermeasures in the ongoing battle against cyber fraud in the financial sector.

According to reports, 7 million mobile connections associated with cybercrime or financial fraud have been deactivated based on information from digital intelligence platforms.

The government plans to conduct additional meetings to address the evolving threat landscape, with the next session scheduled for January.

While the crackdown on fraudulent SIM numbers is a positive step, it is better to remain vigilant and adopt proactive measures to safeguard their phone numbers and devices from potential fraud.

Some basic tips to keep yourself include protecting against sim swapping by setting up a PIN or password with the mobile carrier, being cautious about phishing links and messages, securing personal information, and regularly monitoring financial accounts for any suspicious activity. These measures aim to empower individuals in the ongoing fight against online scams and financial fraud.

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