The Centre has done well to signal that it is taking a serious view of digital and telecom fraud, by setting up a nodal body to deal with such matters. The Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU)will coordinate with telcos, financial institutions and law enforcement authorities to ensure such scams don’t proliferate.
Given the quantum leap in digital transactions in India, there is an urgent need to focus on fraud prevention. Though most online transaction tools come with superior fraud-checks, the fact that scammers are innovating constantly and responding to evolving checks make the DIU an imperative.
While Trai has, from time to time, come up with regulations, many fraudsters have been able to stay under the radar, as the PayTM instance showed.
Last year, the company blamed telcos for not following due process in registering bulk-SMS-users and tele-callers, after such players siphoned off PayTM users’ money.
While the government sets up a nodal body, rooting out such elements will need educating users on digital hygiene, recognising phishing calls, e-mails, SMSs, etc.
The government has taken a few steps, as have financial institutions, but they need to go into the details of detecting attacks and train the user accordingly. This has to be done periodically, since the modus operandi of the attacks evolves to become more sophisticated and legitimate-sounding.