The Madhya Pradesh cyber police have directed various telecom companies to block SIM cards issued on fake identity proofs, following which Vi (erstwhile Vodafone Idea) has blocked nearly 8,000 SIM cards, a senior official said on Tuesday. Acting on the complaint of a person who was allegedly duped of Rs 1.75 lakh after being lured to buy a car through an advertisement on Facebook in 2020, the cyber cell’s Gwalior unit began an investigation and found the number used by fraudsters to cheat the complainant was issued on a different person’s identity.
“The number used by the fraudsters was issued by a telecom company on the basis of an identity document of a different person. Later, eight people were found to be involved in issuing the SIM card to those involved in the crime, Gwalior cyber zone Superintendent of Police Sudhir Agrawal said. After an extensive investigation into the matter, the cyber police also found that the fraudsters allegedly used 20,000 different numbers to dupe people by calling them using these SIM cards,” he said.
The police have over a period of one year taken legal action against eight people involved in issuing the SIM card, he said. After the investigation, the cyber unit had issued notices to various telecom companies, including Vodafone-Idea, Airtel and BSNL, for re-verification of these numbers, he said.
Acting swiftly on the notice, the Vodafone-Idea blocked 7,948 SIM cards after re-verification of the records recently, the official said. "It is probably for the first time in the country that so many numbers have been blocked by a telecom company to save innocent people from getting duped by fraudsters, Agrawal claimed.
The other companies are also re-verifying their records for blocking such SIM cards, he added.