TRAI slaps telecoms with Rs 35 crore fine for failing to curb dupe SMSes and frauds

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has imposed a Rs 30.1 crores penalty on Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, the state-run telecom company as it failed to control the cybercriminals from sending fake SMSes to dupe the users who use digital payments applications. BSNL had also failed to respond to the show-cause notices sent by TRAI and produce performance-monitoring reports.

Subsequently, a fine of Rs1.82 crore has been imposed on Vodafone Idea (Vi), Rs 1.41 crores on Quadrant Teleservices and Rs 1.33 crore on Airtel since these telecom service providers (TSPs) also failed to curb spam calls and text messages to their users send by dupers.

Eight Indian telecom services provider which also include Reliance Jio, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Videocon and Tata Teleservices, have been collectively fined an amount of Rs 35 Cr by TRAI.

At a September hearing, the Delhi High Court court had asked TRAI to act against the service providers who violate regulations to curb spam calls and text messages.

Paytm, which is amidst a tussle in Delhi HC, has disputed that telecom operators had been lax in monitoring the issuance of SMS headers and unique IDs through which commercial text messages are sent to telemarketers. Consequently, those requiring these SMS headers for fraud purposes had been able to get one, which enabled them to send promotional SMSes to unsuspecting customers. A lot of these SMS’s are disguised as coming from banks or payment executives and ask for the person’s private details. Those who reply with their details can rest assured of their funds being siphoned off from their bank accounts or digital wallets.

According to the Economic Times, TRAI’s penalties on telcos are on various counts of violation of the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR).

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