India Combats Phone Call Fraud with New 10-Digit Number Series for Government and Financial Calls

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India Combats Phone Call Fraud with New 10-Digit Number Series for Government and Financial Calls

New 10-Digit Number Series to Combat Phone Call Fraud in India

The Indian government has introduced a new 10-digit number series starting with "160" to help people identify legitimate calls from government agencies and financial institutions. This initiative aims to combat the rising instances of phone call-based fraud.

Incoming calls from government agencies and regulators will start with "1600ABCXXX", where "AB" represents the telecom circle code (e.g., 11 for Delhi, 22 for Mumbai) and "C" denotes the telecom operator code.

Financial entities regulated by RBI, SEBI, PFRDA, and IRDA will use numbers starting with "1601ABCXXX", differing only in the placement of the digit "1" instead of "0" in the fourth position.

This new system will help users easily identify calls from legitimate sources, reducing the risk of falling victim to fraudsters impersonating government officials or financial institutions.

The format also provides information about the telecom circle and operator, enhancing transparency.

Telecom service providers will be responsible for verifying entities seeking "160" series numbers and ensuring they use them exclusively for service and transactional voice calls as per TCCCPR 2018.

As of February 2024, India has 1.19 billion telecom subscribers, with Reliance Jio Infocomm holding the largest market share at 52.2%.