PTA Modifies Regulations For Issuing Duplicate Mobile SIM Cards In Pakistan
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has taken decisive action against the growing threats of new scam methods, prompting security agencies to collaborate with relevant departments. In response, the PTA has announced significant measures to combat the issuance of illegal SIMs in the country.
The telecom regulator has introduced changes to the method of issuing and activating mobile SIM cards, aiming to enhance security and thwart fraudulent activities. One of the key changes is the extension of the timeframe for the issuance and activation of new SIM cards for individuals. Previously set at eight hours, the process will now take seven days.
The PTA clarified that the existing 8-hour gap between successive biometric verifications from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for SIM-related transactions is being extended to 7 days for new SIMs only. This adjustment is a strategic move to counteract the methods employed by fraudsters who exploit the system by activating multiple illegal SIMs simultaneously. Such fraudulent activities often involve scams disguised as fake surveys, free ration schemes, and other deceptive tactics to trick unsuspecting individuals.
The new rules pertaining to mobile SIMs are scheduled to come into effect on January 24, 2024. These standard operating procedures (SOPs) will be applicable to all telecommunications operators, customer service centers, franchisees, and retailers. Simultaneously, NADRA and other relevant institutions will also integrate the new SOPs into their systems.
The announcement comes in response to the misuse of the system in previous years, where fraudulent individuals utilized fake thumb impressions and other tactics to obtain multiple SIMs within a single day. The PTA’s proactive approach aims to curb such illicit activities, protect consumers, and fortify the security of the mobile communication infrastructure in Pakistan.