The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Thursday said it has identified around 6.80 lakh mobile connections suspected to have been obtained using invalid, non-existent, or fake/ forged proof of identity (PoI) and proof of address (PoA) know your customer (KYC) documents.

“Identification of suspected fraudulent connections – through advanced AI-driven analysis, DoT has flagged around 6.80 lakh mobile connections as potentially fraudulent. The questionable veracity of the PoI/ PoA KYC documents suggests the use of fabricated documents for obtaining these mobile connections,” it said.

The DoT has directed telecom service providers (TSPs) to carry out immediate re-verification of these identified mobile numbers. All TSPs are mandated to re-verify the flagged connections within 60 days, it said, adding that failure to complete re-verification will result in the disconnection of the concerned mobile numbers.

“The DoT has asked for the re-verification to ensure the integrity of mobile connections and the security of digital transactions. DoT is committed to creating a secure digital environment for all,” it said.

It further said that the collaboration between various sectors and the utilisation of AI technology have been pivotal in identifying these fraudulent connections, demonstrating the effectiveness of integrated digital platforms in combating identity fraud.

Last week, the DoT had informed that as many as 1.7 crore telecom connections have been disconnected in the last four years due to duplication on SIM registrations or wrong KYC. It added that the challenge of unsolicited commercial calls (UCC) for spamming had been handled well in the past through the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s Do Not Disturb (DND) registry application, where users could opt out of receiving pesky calls or SMSes.

A senior official noted that this was a result of inputs from the Sanchar Saathi portal set up by the DoT last year, as well as inputs given by the Ministry of Home Affairs, law enforcement agencies, and a facial recognition system called ASTR to de-duplicate SIM registrations from the same person.