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GoI to block international spoofed calls showing Indian numbers

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  • 3 min read

After increasing reports of fraudsters making international spoofed calls with Indian numbers, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued telecom service providers (TSPs) an order to block incoming calls displaying Indian mobile numbers.

The DoT claims that such calls appear to originate within India but are being made by cybercriminals from abroad by manipulating something called Calling Line Identity (CLI). The calls have been used in cases of fake digital arrests, impersonation of government and police officers, FedEx scams, and false claims of narcotics in couriers.

Indian TSPs are already blocking incoming international spoofed calls with Indian landline numbers on orders of the DoT.

Calling Line Identity or Calling Line Identification is a feature that allows the recipient of a call to view the caller’s number. Since the feature covers called ID, service, and other call-return services, it can be used to spoof an Indian number where a call might be originating from outside the country. DoT’s press release claims that the department has already developed a system to identify and block such calls in tandem with TSPs from reaching Indian subscribers.

The order is in line with the DoT’s recent crackdown on telecom scamsters. The department has been hard at work trying to break down a recent scam of scammers trying to threaten citizens with digital arrests — where a scammer impersonates a government or police official and accuses the recipient or their friends/relatives of being involved in illegal activities.

Earlier on May 23, the DoT also identified nearly 680,000 phone numbers as having been obtained via invalid, non-existent, or fake proof of identity, proof of address, or KYC documents using an AI-driven analysis.

All Indian TSPs have been ordered to re-verify the flagged connections within 60 days or terminate the connection at once. This method of tele-scamming also sheds light on the government’s Caller Name Identification Proposal (CNAP) to curb spam calls.

Given how the phone number itself, which is used to identify a spam call, can be spoofed, the scammers seem to be a step ahead of the government’s caller identification methods. With the government insisting on using caller name identification, the step might end up benefitting the scammers instead.

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: