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Mobile number porting after SIM swap to now take 7 days compared to 10 days earlier, for user convenience

A seven day waiting period will be applicable from July 1, instead of the previous 10 day period, for an already swapped or replaced SIM card to be eligible for porting, The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) announced on Friday, adding that this is to reduce inconveniences for users due to the waiting period.

Earlier, the waiting period was 10 days if a sim is swapped, but it is now 7 days.

Why is there a waiting period for mobile number porting?

There is a waiting period for mobile number porting to reduce the incidences of SIM swap scams. Earlier, this waiting period used to be 10 days, and it has now, been reduced to seven.

What is a SIM swap scam?

In a SIM swap scam, fraudsters first get the victims’ personal details through phishing, which involves sending emails or messages, either laced with malware, or by posing as companies or banks with the intention to make the person reveal personal information.

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After this, they approach the mobile operator, posing as the person, using forged documents which they make using the details they gathered, to report a fake theft of their mobile phone.

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The mobile operator then, issues a duplicate SIM card, and ports the number to it, which the fraudsters can use to generate OTPs with the victims’ bank accounts and steal money.

What are the details of the new SIM porting rules?

The new rules are part of the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (Ninth Amendment) Regulations, 2024, which the TRAI issued on March 14, 2024. The regulations had been already amended eight times in the past.

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“These amendment regulations are aimed at curbing the porting of mobile numbers by way of fraudulent SIM swap/replacement by unscrupulous elements,” TRAI wrote in its statement.

To prevent fraudulent porting after SIM swap or replacement, the wait period should neither be too small that it falls short of the objective of curbing fraudulent porting, nor it should be too long to cause inconvenience for subscribers, PTI wrote, quoting TRAI.

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