Ministry of Finance

DFS Secretary chairs follow-up meeting with stakeholders from 12 organisations on Cyber Security in Financial Services Sector and Online Financial Frauds

Department of Telecom blocks about 1.4 lakh mobile handsets linked to financial frauds

More than 500 arrested, and about 3.08 lakh SIMs, 50 thousand IMEI blocked since April 2023 through Pratibimb portal

Banks and financial institutions to phase out  use of regular 10-digit numbers and use specific number series such as '140xxx' for commercial/ promotional activities

Posted On: 09 FEB 2024 8:19PM by PIB Delhi

Dr. Vivek Joshi, Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance, chaired a meeting in New Delhi, today, to follow up on the issues discussed in the last meeting related to cyber security in the financial services sector held on 28.11.2023 and to discuss the increasing incidents of recent online financial frauds.


The meeting was also attended by senior officials of Department of Financial Services (DFS), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Department of Revenue (DoR), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Department of Telecom (DoT), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination Center (I4C), National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Punjab National Bank (PNB) and State Bank of India (SBI).

The meeting took stock of the action points which emerged during the discussion in the last meeting and reviewed the preparedness of the banks and other financial institutions in tackling the challenges arising from cyber security in the financial services sector, increasing trend of digital payment frauds, and readiness of all the concerned stakeholders in this regard.

The following were noted during the deliberation:

  1. Department of Telecom (DoT) has developed अस्त्र (ASTR), an AI/ML based engine, to detect mobile connections taken on fake/ forged documents. About 1.40 lakh mobile handsets either linked to the disconnected mobile connections or misused in cyber-crime /financial frauds have been blocked.
  2. DoT analysed 35 lakhs Principal Entities sending bulk SMSs. Out of these, 19,776 Principal Entities involved in sending malicious SMSs blacklisted and 30,700 SMS Headers and 1,95,766 SMS templates have been disconnected.
  3. Pratibimb portal, on which SIM and IMEI of the suspected fraudster are plotted on real time basis, has enabled the law enforcement agencies to utilise it to identify and locate the suspects. Till date, more than 500 arrests have been made around 3.08 lakh SIMS blocked, around 50 thousand IMEI blocked, and 592 Fake Links/ APK and 2,194 URLs blocked since April 2023. 

Some of the issues that were discussed included:

· Onboarding of Banks/ Financial Institutions on the Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System (CFCFRMS) platform through API integration.

· Integration of CFCFRMS platform with National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) with the aim to centralise the platform that will enable effective collaboration between Police, Banks, and Financial Institutions, allowing for real-time monitoring and prevention of fraudulent activities.

· Banks and financial institutions are required to phase out the use of regular 10-digit numbers and use specific number series such as '140xxx' for commercial/ promotional activities as prescribed by TRAI.

· Ensuring round-the-clock availability of resources to promptly address complaints will improve fraud-to-hold ratio.

· Formulating an action plan/ SoPs for returning of funds to the victim from fraudulent accounts.

· Banks and financial institutions are required to conduct additional customer awareness and sensitisation programmes in regional languages on the security of digital payments.

· Sharing of information by Banks/ Financial Institutions in a standardised format for ease of analysis by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs).




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