Thursday, July 25, 2024
- Advertisement -

    Latest Posts

    Department of Telecommunications Blacklists Entities for Sending Over 10,000 Scam Messages

    The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have found that eight entities misused their SMS headers to send scam messages with the intent of committing cybercrime. As per a recent press release, these SMS headers sent out more than 10,000 fraudulent messages over the past three months. As such, all 8 telemarketing entities and the 73 SMS Headers and 1522 SMS content templates owned by them have been blacklisted. This comes a day after the DoT and the MHA directed telecom service providers (TSPs) to block incoming international spoofed calls displaying Indian mobile numbers. 

    Other steps to curb spam

    In February this year, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs conducted a meeting to discuss a solution for unsolicited commercial communication (spam calls and messages) with participation from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), and telecom companies. One of the accepted suggestions during this meeting was to form a committee to draft guidelines for curbing spam calls, according to a Deccan Herald report.

    In a statement shared with MediaNama COAI said that the organisation along with its members are a part of the committee and that they are working to prepare draft guidelines under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, to safeguard consumers from spam. The industry body added that telecom companies are currently working on bringing out some models to address spam calls. 

    Another step that has recently been adopted in an attempt to curb spam is the separation of the number series used for marketing and service calls. On May 22, the TRAI put out a press release which stated that now two separate numbering series would be used by businesses— the 140 series for promotional calls and the 160 series for service and transactional calls— so that the two can be easily identified by customers. It is, however, unclear how this would help curb spam/scam calls and messages. Even if customers can identify spammers/scammers, they would continue to get calls and messages which means that the spam would keep coming.

    Why is the spam problem so hard to solve?

    TRAI has previously admitted that spammers continuously create new techniques to send spam messages, sometimes changing these techniques within a matter of hours. This can make it challenging for spam curbing techniques to be actually effective. While the regulator did instruct telcos to deploy an  Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based UCC_Detect system, claiming that it would be able to evolve and deal with the new patterns and new techniques used by unregistered telemarketers, spam/scam calls and messages continue to be surface as evidenced by DoT’s recent press release.

    Another reason could be the financial benefit that telcos receive from carrying spam on their network. Speaking about the effectiveness of using AI to curb spam, Nikhil Narendran, a partner at Trilegal law firm, told us last year that telecom companies are incentivized to ensure that a large number of calls and messages are carried out through their network because that’s how they make money. As such, attempts to make telecom companies co-regulators in curbing spam prove ineffective.

    Also read:

    The post Department of Telecommunications Blacklists Entities for Sending Over 10,000 Scam Messages appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

    Latest Posts

    - Advertisement -

    Don't Miss

    Stay in touch

    To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.