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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has instructed telecom companies to block all incoming international spoof calls directed toward Indian consumers.

In 2022, more than half of the people surveyed about spam phone calls in India reported receiving unwanted and promotional calls, with a significant portion of these calls attempting to sell financial services. Additionally, around 29 percent of those surveyed mentioned receiving unsolicited calls related to real estate, further emphasizing the wide range of sectors affected by spam calls in India.

According to Statista, India consistently ranks among the countries with the highest rates of spam phone calls in the world. The proliferation of these calls has created a significant nuisance for the general public and poses serious security risks. As of 2023, the phishing scam "You've won a prize!" emerged as the leading type of fraudulent call in the country, with 72 percent of respondents admitting to having fallen for this scheme.

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Fraudsters have developed sophisticated techniques to manipulate the calling line identity (CLI), making it seem as though their calls are originating from within India. This tactic, known as spoofing, deceives recipients into thinking they are receiving a legitimate domestic call, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will answer. Once the call is answered, these fraudsters often attempt to scam the recipients, potentially leading to financial loss or the divulging of sensitive personal information.

In response to this growing threat, the government has taken decisive action to protect consumers. Recognizing the risks posed by international spoof calls, authorities have mandated that telecommunications companies block all incoming international calls that appear to be spoofed. This regulatory measure aims to curb the prevalence of such scams, enhancing the security of telephone communications for consumers across the country.

Moreover, the DoT has recently ordered telecom companies to reverify over 6.8 lakh mobile numbers suspected of being obtained with fake or invalid documents within 60 days. Scammers exploit these connections to make calls to unsuspecting users, luring them into their schemes.

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"DoT and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have devised a system to identify and block such international spoofed calls from reaching any Indian telecom subscriber. Now directions have been issued to the TSPs for blocking such incoming international spoofed calls," the statement said.

While TSPs have already implemented measures to block such calls, it doesn't eliminate the possibility of fraud entirely, as fraudsters may find new methods to deceive users. The government advises users to remain vigilant and report any suspicious calls to the relevant authorities, as this cooperation is crucial in combating such scams.

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