Sanchar Saathi Portal: Tracking and Blocking Lost or Stolen Mobile Phones
The Department of Telecom has launched the Sanchar Saathi portal, enabling people across India to block and track their lost or stolen mobile phones. This initiative aims to enhance user safety and prevent the unauthorized use of devices. Union telecom minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, highlighted the portal's features, emphasizing the importance of user protection.
Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR): Blocking Lost Mobile Phones
The Sanchar Saathi portal consists of various services, with the first leg being the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR). If you lose your mobile phone, you can visit the CEIR section of the portal. After undergoing identity verification and providing necessary information, the portal will interact with law enforcement agencies and telecom service providers to block your lost device. This swift action will help prevent misuse and unauthorized access to personal information.
Ensuring Genuineness: Verify Used Devices Before Purchase
Apart from blocking lost devices, the Sanchar Saathi portal provides a valuable feature known as “Know Your Mobile.” This facility allows users to verify the genuineness of second-hand mobile phones before making a purchase. By checking the device's authenticity, potential buyers can avoid falling victim to fraudulent sellers and ensure a safe transaction.
Cracking Down on Fraud: WhatsApp Collaboration
In response to concerns about fraudulent activities via WhatsApp calls, the government has collaborated with the Meta-owned app. WhatsApp has agreed to deactivate services associated with mobile phone numbers engaged in fraudulent activities. This proactive approach to customer safety extends to other over-the-top (OTT) platforms as well. All platforms are actively cooperating to deregister users detected as fraudsters, reducing the risk of scams and cyber fraud.
Curbing Cyber Frauds: A Step Towards User Safety
The Sanchar Saathi portal's facilities align with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of prioritizing user safety. The government's commitment to combat rising trends in cyber frauds is reflected in the measures taken to block fraudulent users, disconnect fraudulent mobile connections, and ensure the authenticity of mobile devices. By implementing these reforms, the government aims to seriously control cyber fraud and diminish its prevalence.
Tackling Cloned Mobile Phones: CEIR's Crucial Role
The technology development arm under the Department of Telecom, C-DoT, has played a significant role in developing the Sanchar Saathi facilities. One notable aspect is the ability to check cloned mobile phones across all telecom networks. Miscreants often change the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number of stolen devices, making them difficult to track and block. However, with the CEIR system, cloned devices can be identified and blocked on the network using comprehensive databases.
IMEI Disclosure and Network Monitoring: Preventing Unauthorized Devices
To enhance security, the government has made it mandatory to disclose the IMEI, a unique 15-digit identifier, before selling mobile devices in India. Telecom operators and the CEIR system maintain a list of approved IMEI numbers, which helps prevent unauthorized devices from accessing the network. By having visibility into the IMEI numbers and associated mobile numbers, telecom operators can monitor and track lost or stolen mobile phones through the CEIR system.
Successful Pilot and Future Prospects: Tracking and Preventing Mobile Phone Theft
C-DoT has conducted successful pilots of this technology in select telecom circles, including Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and the North East. Recently, the Karnataka Police recovered and returned 2,500 lost mobile phones to their rightful owners using the CEIR system. While Apple already has its own system to track lost mobile phones, Android devices have faced challenges in this regard. With the implementation of the Sanchar Saathi system, the use of stolen mobile phones will become futile. Additionally, this technology can play