74% of respondents still getting pesky messages despite being in Trai's DND list: Survey
74% of respondents still getting pesky messages despite being in Trai's DND list: Survey

Around 74 per cent of the total respondents in a survey said they are getting unwanted SMS despite being in the regulator Trai's 'Do Not Disturb' list, according to a report released by online platform LocalCircles on Sunday.

The 'Do Not Disturb' list is meant for protecting subscribers from pesky communications.

The survey, which collected over 35,000 responses from citizens located in 324 districts of the country, found out that 73 per cent of citizens are getting four or more unwanted SMS on a daily basis.

The survey follows recent measures proposed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for stricter penalty norms on pesky callers.

The DoT has created two special wings - the Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU) and the Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP) - to coordinate with law enforcement agencies, financial institutions and other government agencies in cases involving frauds, using telecom resources or services.

Regulations regarding pesky calls are managed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). It has provision to penalise pesky callers in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 per violation.

"Despite being registered on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (Trai) 'Do Not Disturb' list, 74 per cent of citizens at the time said they still get unwanted SMS," the survey said.

In the same survey, 26 per cent of citizens said at least a quarter of the unwanted SMS comes from mobile service providers; while banking, insurance, real estate, local services and earning money offers were the primary drivers for spam SMS.

The DoT has proposed to make the norms more stringent by reducing the slabs for levying penalty to Rs 1,000 per violation for 0-10 breaches; Rs 5,000 each for 10-50 violations; and Rs 10,000 each for more than 50 violations.

Currently, the slabs under the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations (TCCCPR), 2018, are 0-100, 100-1,000 and more than 1,000 violations.

The DoT arms have proposed blocking IMEI of devices from which the pesky SMS are sent and also blacklisting of IDs of telemarketers who continue to violate the rules.

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