Indian Government Bans Over 36 Lakh Fraudulent WhatsApp Accounts
In response to fraudulent activities, the Indian government has mandated that WhatsApp block accounts involved in such practices. As a result, more than 36 lakh accounts have already been banned in India.
The frequency of fraudulent calls via WhatsApp in India is rising, with individuals receiving unsolicited voice and video calls from unknown international numbers. Scammers are deliberately targeting innocent citizens with malicious intentions. To combat these deceptive practices, the Indian government has urged WhatsApp to ban accounts involved in fraudulent activities.
At the inauguration of the Department of Telecom’s Sanchar Saathi website, Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that more than 36 lakh WhatsApp accounts have been banned in India. He emphasized the company’s cooperation in ensuring people’s safety.
During the launch event, Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw addressed concerns about the increasing cases of WhatsApp call scams in the country.
In response, he stated, “We have been in active communication with WhatsApp, and they have acknowledged that ensuring customer safety is of utmost importance. All OTT platforms are actively collaborating to deregister users identified as fraudulent.”
Additionally, he noted that a staggering 36 lakh phone numbers have been disconnected due to fraudulent activities, resulting in the subsequent banning of their associated WhatsApp accounts.
In a statement, WhatsApp expressed gratitude to the minister for recognizing their endeavours to uphold the safety of users.
“We are grateful for the minister’s acknowledgment of WhatsApp’s continuous commitment to user safety. We have been actively engaging with the government to consistently ensure a safe and secure user experience, including weeding out bad actors from the platform”, read the statement.
WhatsApp advises blocking and reporting suspicious calls
Previously, WhatsApp had requested that users block and report any suspicious calls, enabling the implementation of suitable measures against such activities.
In a statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, “Blocking and Reporting suspicious messages/ calls is an important step to effectively combat scams and when users receive calls from unknown international or domestic phone numbers, WhatsApp provides a convenient way to block and report suspicious accounts. It’s important to report these accounts to WhatsApp so that we can take the required action against and ban them from the platform. Users can also control who sees their personal details and their online presence by using our privacy controls. Keeping your personal details visible to only your contacts can help safeguard your account against bad actors.”
Escalating online scams
Regarding the targeted scam, numerous WhatsApp users have reported receiving calls from various countries, such as Ethiopia (+251), Malaysia (+60), Indonesia (+62), Kenya (+254), Vietnam (+84), and others. Some users have also encountered messages attempting to entice them with enticing part-time job offers, as well as video calls from unfamiliar numbers.
It is important to note that receiving a call from an international number does not necessarily mean that the caller is physically located in a different country. WhatsApp calls are transmitted over the internet, allowing anyone to make a call from an international number via WhatsApp, even if they are in the same city as the recipient.