In its briefing to Senate’s Standing Committee on IT, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has informed that criminal elements are now obtaining thumb impressions through fraud in order to register fake sims. As many as 200,000 sims registered under such fake biometrics were blocked by PTA in 2019 alone.
The telecommunications authority also informed that out of these 74,000 were registered in Sargodha alone.
The mechanism criminals are following to forge thumb impressions is that they would either claim to be representatives of NGOs or other organizations, looking to collect biometric data. They then ask individuals to give their thumb impression on machines and repeatedly do so, claiming that the machine is faulty.
In other cases, the criminals steal thumb impressions through a mobile scanner and then trace it onto a piece of paper to register a sim under fake information. The sims are then sold between Rs1,800 to Rs4,000.
Tech experts in the committee asked PTA to further strengthen its security check and sync the biometric with facial recognition and other personal details.