Fight Back against Stock Tip SMS. Zerodha Takes the Initiative
Unsolicited stock tips via SMS and calls are a serious menace. In addition to the annoyance, this illegal activity brings significant losses to investors who fall victim, and damage the capital market ecosystem. Online stockbroker Zerodha has started an initiative to curb the menace of unsolicited stock tips that are spread through SMS. 
 
Zerodha has started a webpage for reporting such stock tip SMSs. It says, "We have been receiving an increasing number of reports from irate clients who incorrectly assume that we are complicit in leaking their phone numbers to unscrupulous tipsters. We do not. We have come to the understanding that this problem is not unique to us or our clients, but plagues the entire industry. We have received reports of leaks happening at the telecom and SMS gateway levels."
 
"We reached out to other brokers, broking associations, exchanges, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), and various cyber cells in an effort to figure out the source of the leaks, and to curb the problem. We, along with other brokers and the regulatory bodies are working hard to curb this menace, but unfortunately, not much has come out of it," the online brokerage says. 
 
Now Zerodha has the taken the initiative to fight this menace with greater determination. It is asking the hapless investors to report spam tips to its portal.
 
 
Here is how you can report to Zerodha on the unsolicited stock tips SMS...
 
  • Make sure you are registered on the TRAI DND. If not, you can register by sending "START 0" as an SMS to 1909.
  • If you receive an unsolicited stock tip via SMS or phone call, report the offending number to TRAI by SMSing it to 1909 in the format: unsolicited stock tip,the number you received it from,date
 
For example: unsolicited stock tip,9123456789,31/08/2018 
 
  • Send the offending numbers on [email protected] to aid it in its legal action
  • You can also report these calls and messages to NSE by sending an SMS to +918291833676.
  • If you have any information on any of the unscrupulous tipsters, please e-mail us on [email protected]
 
 
Last August, the market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) had issued a circular about curbing misuse of bulk SMS in the securities market. "SEBI regulation requires that investment advice and stock tips can only be given by Investment Advisors and certain other entities that are duly registered with SEBI. However, the main challenge faced by SEBI in this context, was the lack of reliable information on the identity of senders of such SMSs which created road blocks for SEBI in taking necessary enforcement action against them," it had said.
 
 
SEBI, in collaboration with TRAI, reviewed the then existing regulatory framework and industry practices to help in reducing the vulnerability of securities market to manipulation through misuse of mass communication device like bulk SMS. Based on this, the telecom regulator on 10 August 2017 issued a notification directing all access providers to follow certain operational guidelines for SMSs relating to investment advice/stock tips using the bulk SMS channel. 
 
However, despite two on the biggest regulators coming together, there is no respite to common subscribers from the spam SMSs or calls. 
 
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