Fake fingerprints are being used now to activate SIM cards. According to the Ministry of the Interior, unwanted calls are made using SIMs that have been triggered fraudulently using various fraud techniques such as silicon thumb impressions.
The official records state that the Cyber Crime Wing FIA has received a total of 4,547 complaints about these unsolicited/fraudulent calls involving the financial deception of ordinary people during the current year under Section 13, 14, 17 of PECA-2016.
1,815 of the 4,547 reports received were turned into regular inquiries, with 145 cases being filed as well. The FIA Cyber Crime Wing received 1,798 inquiries and 158 cases in 2019 and expected 3,706 inquiries and 154 cases in 2020.
“It is fact that Cybercrime FIA assists PTA in tracking and tracking the owner of such SIMs and interrogates them. During interrogation, it revealed that all such SIMs were activated fraudulently by using different fraudulent techniques like silicon thumb impression, etc.” stated The Ministry.
It further admitted, “Yes, it is likely that after biometric verification, such SIMs are used for unsolicited calls; however, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is mandated under section 17 of PECA-2016 to search and track the illegally SIMs biometric verification.”
During the current year, the CCW-FIA reported five FIRs u/s 16, 17, and 15 accused were arrested. 75 BVS machines, 14,533 SIMs, 1,408 silicon thumb impressions, and 3,000 sheets were also found.
In 2019 and 2020, the Cyber Crime FIA filed 90 FIRs and 300 investigations, 107 suspects were arrested, and 17 BVS computers, 25,192 SIMs, and 6,446 silicon thumb impressions, as well as a voter list, were retrieved.
The projected cost of the seized goods was Rs. 91.76 million, and the loss avoided in 2019 and 2020 was Rs. 71.99 million.
The Cyber Crime FIA has created a dedicated team in each cybercrime reporting center to deal with complaints about unwanted callers defrauding ordinary people, and it collaborates with the PTA to crack down on franchises that fraudulently activate SIM cards. According to the statement, the PTA is in charge of overseeing the activation of such SIM cards.
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