scorecardMobile Number Portability revamped to reduce SIM swap frauds – Here are the new rules
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Mobile Number Portability revamped to reduce SIM swap frauds – Here are the new rules

Mobile Number Portability revamped to reduce SIM swap frauds – Here are the new rules
Business2 min read
  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has announced new rules for mobile number portability (MNP).
  • The new MNP guidelines are aimed at curbing instances of SIM swap fraud.
  • The new MNP guidelines will come into effect from July 1, 2024.
There has been a considerable increase in online scams in the country, with SIM swap scam emerging as a significant issue. To curb this, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced new rules around mobile number portability (MNP).

TRAI has issued new guidelines based on suggestions from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to curb fraudsters from porting out mobile connections using the SIM swap scam. The new guidelines will come into effect from July 1, 2024.

What is MNP?

Mobile Number Portability or MNP is a facility that enables users to easily switch from one telecom operator to another, without having to change their mobile number. This allows the user to port out of an operator and move to another if they are not happy with the services offered.

MNP was initially introduced in Haryana in November 2010 and a national rollout began in January 2011.

Changes to MNP

As per the latest amendment, users will not be able to request for allocation of a Unique Porting Code (UPC) that is needed to transfer the mobile connection from one operator to another if there has been a SIM swap or replacement in the last seven days.

This is essentially a cooldown you will have to complete before you can port to a different network provider after getting a new physical SIM. Additionally, once you have ported your SIM, you will have to wait for 90 days before you can port again.

While the regulatory body has not revealed any information about how the SIM swap scam is happening, it reportedly usually happens when users get a new SIM or place a request to port their SIM.

TRAI is also considering DoT’s recommendation to include demographic details matching before allowing the user to port to a new telecom operator.

What is a SIM Swap scam?

As the name suggests, SIM swap scam involves the scammer getting access to your SIM, either with the help of someone at the mobile service provider or through other means.

The scammer often convinces the network operator to activate a SIM card they possess, gaining control of the victim’s mobile number. This allows them to gain access to all calls and text messages that the victim may receive, which is important in this day and age where all accounts are linked to your phone number.

Once the scammer gets access to the victim’s mobile number, they use it to gain access to their bank account and steal money.

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