Telecom ministry has this ’10-digit solution’ to fraud calls claiming to be from banks, govt depts

NEW DELHI: Telecom ministry has this ’10-digit solution’ to fraud calls claiming to be from banks and government departments

Amidst the rising phone call scams, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has introduced a new tool to identify genuine calls from those made by fraudsters. The telecom department has allocated a dedicated 10-digit numbering series starting with 160 for service and transactional calls made by government, regulators and financial entities.

Incoming calls from bank, government departments to display 160 prefix

The DoT will issue a separate 10-digit number for service and transaction-related calls made by financial institutions and telecom operators.

The 10-digit number will have a 160 prefix and will be issued in 1600ABCXXX format for government, financial institutions and telecom regulators.

The AB will show the code of the telecom circle like 11 for Delhi, 22 for Mumbai. While the digit at C place will show the code of the telecom operator. The XXX will be digits between 000-999.

Numbers for financial institutions to be issued in 1601ABCXXX format

Similarly, for financial entities regulated by RBI, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the 10-digit number will be issued in 1601ABCXXX format.

According to an office memorandum, the 10-digit number series has been designed by the DoT in a manner that citizens will get an idea about calling entities as well as the telecom operator and the place from where it has originated.

“It has been decided to allocate a separate numbering series 160 exclusively for service and transactional voice calls as per Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR) 2018,” the official note said..

“The TSP (telecom service provider) shall ensure adequate verification of each and every entity before assigning a number from 160 series, The TSP shall obtain an undertaking from the seeking entity that it will use the number assigned from 160 series exclusively for service and transactional voice calls as per TCCCPR 2018,” the note said.

Recently, the DoT thanked the vigilant and alert citizens for reporting of suspected fraud communications as the government fights against the menace of fraudulent calls in the country. As a result of people’s proactive action on this front, the telecom department has taken action against fraudsters sending fake messages posing as Life Insurance Corporations of India (LIC) officials and insurance company representatives for redemption of the ‘SBI Rewards’.

“Vigilant and alert citizens are playing an indispensable role in preventing cybercrimes. Through their proactive reporting of suspected fraud communications via the Chakshu-Report Suspected Fraud Communications facility on the Sanchar Saathi portal, these alert citizens are contributing significantly to a safer digital environment,” the DoT note read.



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