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Vodafone Idea asked to pay Rs 28 lakh fine after issuing duplicate SIM without verifying customer's documents

Vodafone Idea asked to pay Rs 28 lakh fine after issuing duplicate SIM without verifying customer's documents

The accused customer who was issued the duplicate SIM card was able to withdraw Rs 68.5 lakh from the account of the first customer as the SIM card was linked to his overdraft facility, as per reports.

Story highlights
  • The case dates back to May 2017, when Krishna Lal Nain, a Vi user’s mobile number stopped working.
  • Nain was given a new number but it did not get activated for five days.
  • Meanwhile, another customer Bhanu Pratap was issued a SIM card with the same number and transferred Rs 68.5 lakh to his account.

Rajasthan government's IT Department has asked Vodafone Idea Limited to compensate Rs 27,53,183 to one of its customers who lost Rs 68.5 lakh after the telecom company issued a duplicate SIM for his mobile number to another man without properly verifying documents. The accused customer who was issued the SIM card was able to withdraw Rs 68 lakh from the account of the first customer as the SIM card was linked to his overdraft facility, as per reports. The funds were thus transferred illegally into the accused's account through the duplicate SIM card that was issued by Vi without proper verification.


The case dates back to May 2017, when Krishna Lal Nain, a Vi user's mobile number stopped working, after which he filed a complaint in Hanumangarh. He received a new number but it did not get activated despite several complaints. By the time he took his complaint to a Jaipur store and got his number activated, five days had passed and the accused with the duplicate SIM had transferred the money illegally through OTPs.


When the victim's number got activated, he was notified of the money transfer after which he filed an FIR. While the accused returned Rs 44 lakh to the complainant, Rs 27.5 lakh remained unpaid. The adjudicating officer held Vodafone Idea guilty and directed the company to pay the amount to the complainant.

"Vodafone Idea Ltd. is directed to deposit Rs 27,53,183 in the bank account of the applicant within one month otherwise compound interest with a rate of 10 per cent annually will be levied," order stated. The telco has been given a month's time to make the payment, as per a September 6 order issued by Alok Gupta, adjudicating officer and principal secretary, IT Department.

The issuance of the duplicate SIM card without verification of personal data and the delay in the activation of the new SIM card in case of the victim raised questions.

In related news, cybercriminals are stealing the bank account details of users on the pretext of upgrading their SIM to 4G. The users are being asked to submit their 20-digit SIM card number and Aadhar card details to save their number from getting discontinued. Some users without verifying the source of the caller, share all their data and lose their bank savings.

They call their potential targets and inform them that a SIM deactivation request was sent for their number. If they have not requested the same, they can share a few details to save their SIM from getting deactivated. Another common technique is when they ask users to upgrade their 3G SIM to 4G, in order to continue using the services. The users are told that if they do not submit their SIM card number along with the Aadhar card details, their number will not be upgraded to 4G. Using the details, they gain complete access to the bank account of the user.