A letter issued in the name of ‘Hindustan Tower Pvt Ltd’ and carrying TRAI logo is being shared on social media. The letter states that the said company is ready to install a cell phone tower at the user’s site and will pay him a sum of ₹40 lakhs and monthly rent of ₹25,000 but only after receiving a sum of ₹10,500 from the user for commercial registration of the land. A similar image is received by FACTLY from a user for verification. Let’s check the authenticity of the document.
Claim: TRAI approval letter for installation of cell phone tower seeking money from the landowner for commercial registration of land
Fact: This is a fraudulent letter. Neither TRAI nor DoT is involved in the installation of mobile towers. Licensed Telecom Service Providers (TSP) and Infrastructure Providers (IP-1), who are responsible for mobile tower installations, usually do not ask for money from the property owner. Several people from across the country have lost money by believing in such fake offers. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE
An internet search with the relevant keywords led us to a tweet by PIB Factcheck regarding the same letter. In the accompanying video, PIB confirmed that the letter is FAKE.
Earlier in 2020, FACTLY debunked a similar fraudulent letter that sought money from landowners on the pretext of mobile tower installation. According to multiple notices issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and media reports, TRAI/ DoT is not involved in the installation of mobile towers and using DoT/TRAI name/logo or national emblem is liable to be prosecuted under applicable laws. The approved list of Telecom Service Providers (TSP) and Infrastructure Providers (IP-1) who are responsible for mobile tower installation can be seen here and here.
Moreover, there were several media reports of people falling prey to such scams.
To sum it up, the letter seeking money from landowners on the pretext of installing Mobile towers is a Fraudulent one.