New SIM card rules effective Dec. 1 to combat cyber fraudtext_fields
New Delhi: The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) is set to implement new SIM card regulations from December 1, with an aim to tackle cyber fraud.
The new guidelines, which focus on buying and selling SIM cards, were announced on August 1, 2023. However, these rules were scheduled to be implemented by October 1 but were delayed.
The regulations aim to deal with online fraud and combat scams involving fake SIMs and are enforced throughout the country to curb scam cases.
Taking into account the scams involving fake SIM cards, the government has taken the initiative to implement penalties, such as fines and imprisonment, for violations of these rules. The main aim of these regulations is to reduce financial fraud.
While announcing the rules, Union Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed that over 52 lakh connections obtained using fraudulent methods have already been deactivated.
Under the new regulations, it is mandatory for all the dealers to undergo verification and on failing to comply, they will have to pay a fine of ₹10 lakh.
The Centre has also decided to discontinue the provision of issuance of bulk connections. However, on the basis of one identification, individuals can still take up to nine SIM cards.
The verification of SIM card dealers will be carried out by the telecom operator and the existing sellers will have a 12-month window to comply with the registration norm.
Detailing the need for such verification, the government informed that such verifications are necessary to aid in the identification, blacklisting and elimination of rogue sellers from the system.
For purchasing new SIMs or applying for a fresh one on the existing number, the customer has to provide the necessary demographic details. This comes under KYC reform, where the details will be captured by scanning the QR code of the printed Aadhaar card.
The government also informed that a mobile number will be allocated to a new customer only after 90 days of it being disconnected by the previous user.
In case of a SIM replacement, the KYC process has to be completed by the subscriber, with a bar of 24 hours on outgoing and incoming SMS facilities.
Earlier this year, as a part of a previous set of reforms, the government launched the Sanchar Saathi portal for reporting stolen or lost mobile handsets and blocking them. It was launched along with AI-based software ASTR for identifying illegal mobile connections.