Due to technological limitations, police officials were unable to conduct a widespread crackdown on fake SIM cards, which are tools used by cybercriminals to defraud people and avoid being caught. However, the Gujarat police recently discovered about 30000 such SIM cards after using an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to detect SIM cards made with false identities.
Using an AI tool called “Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition Powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification (ASTR),” the state Department of Telecommunication (DoT) carried out a thorough investigation and discovered that at least 29,552 SIM cards from different telecom service providers were activated in Gujarat using phoney documents produced by PoS.
In several cases, it was found that shop owners had activated and sold multiple SIM cards using a single photograph.
The DoT statement said, since it is “not possible to detect such fraud by analysing each and every application manually, the DoT had put to use its indigenously developed AI tool to detect and weed out forged SIMs.”
According to officials, the ASTR toll analysed details provided in the customer application forms (CAF) database of 8.12 crore telecom subscribers in the state. It identified 486 groups where similar photographs were found with different names.
After identifying the details, the officials handed over the information to the state police.
In a joint operation by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the CID’s cybercrime unit last week, up to 37 people from various parts of the state were detained for allegedly activating and selling SIM cards using forged identification documents and fake customer photos.
The majority of these SIM cards were activated during covid between 2020 and 2022.
Many cities in India, including Ahmedabad has been witnessing multiple cases of cyber frauds identified theft each day. Despite warnings from officials, the number of victims goes up and people lose huge amounts of money.