Fintech giant Paytm has criticized the telecom firms, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, BSNL, and MTNL, and the Telecom Authority of India for their negligence in the handling of the rising phishing cases in India.
Paytm (1) claimed that the negligence and inaction on the telecom companies’ part have led to a rise in phishing attacks. The Vijay Shekhar founded firm said in a composite rejoinder filed in Delhi HC that the telecom giants had failed to meet the verification obligation as per the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations (TCCCPR).
Paytm had earlier explained how scammers register themselves as telemarketers on such networks under headers similar to Paytm like PYTM, PTM, IPAYTN, PYTKYC, PAYTMB, Ipaytm, mPaytm, etc. Users often confuse these headers with being a sign of a message from the official company.
Such scammers often send out malicious information to Paytm customers, framing it in a way that a user reveals his/her sensitive data, including your account details and passwords. They also tend to call customers seeking private information by telling them that they need it to complete their KYC requirements so that the user can continue to use their Paytm wallet.
Customers have been defrauded of over Rs 1.1 crore
At the beginning of the year, Paytm shared a list of over 3,500 phone numbers that were being used to scam people to government bodies like TRAI, MHA, and cybersecurity department CERT-in.
Recently, Paytm submitted a list of 560 instances since 1st June, where their customers have been defrauded of Rs 1.1 crore in total. While the scams were being carried out by both registered and unregistered headers, over 50% of the traffic comes in through BSNL.
Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea came out to their defense, saying that the fintech giant is hiding faults in their own security in managing user data. Jio told Delhi High Court that telecom operators could not be held accountable for illegal activities happening over calls and messages. Vodafone Idea added that the telecom operators don’t have the right to legally access or control content communication done via their network.