The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said it has blacklisted eight SMS Headers for sending fraudulent communications for committing cyber-crime, in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

It was noted that more than 10,000 fraudulent messages were sent using these eight headers in the past three months and in its action, all the 73 SMS headers and 1,522 SMS content templates owned by these Principal Entities (PEs) have been blacklisted and none of these PEs, SMS headers or templates can now be used to send SMS through any telecom operator, the DoT said.

“DoT, in collaboration with the MHA, has taken decisive action to protect citizens from potential SMS fraud through the Sanchar Saathi initiative. Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C), MHA, provided information about misuse of eight SMS Headers for sending fraudulent communications for committing cyber-crime,” it said.

Fraud reporting

DoT reiterates its commitment to safeguarding citizens against cybercrime. Citizens can report suspected fraud communications at the Chakshu facility on Sanchar Saathi to help DoT in the prevention of misuse of telecom resources for cyber-crime and financial frauds, it said.

The DoT also noted that it does not permit use of mobile numbers for telemarketing activities and if a consumer uses their telephone connection to send promotional messages, their connection will be liable for disconnection on the first complaint and their name and address may be blacklisted for a period of two years.

Telemarketing calls can be identified by their prefixes: 180, 140 and 10-digit numbers are not permitted for telemarketing, it said adding that to report spam, consumers can dial 1909 or use the DND (Do Not Disturb) service.

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On Sunday also, the DoT said that it has been reported that fraudsters are making international spoofed calls displaying Indian mobile numbers to Indian citizens and committing cyber-crime and financial frauds.

Such calls appear to be originating within India but are being made by cyber-criminals from abroad by manipulating the calling line identity (CLI) and have been misused in recent cases of fake digital arrests, FedEx scams, drugs or narcotics in courier, impersonation as government and police officials, disconnections of mobile numbers by DoT or TRAI officials, etc.

The incoming international spoofed calls with Indian landline numbers are being already blocked by the telecom service providers (TSPs) as per the directions issued by DoT, it added.