New Delhi: Telecom Department to Cease USSD Call Forwarding from April 15; Measures to Combat Fraud

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has mandated the nationwide deactivation of USSD-based call forwarding services by telecom operators, effective April 15, 2024.
New Delhi: Telecom Department to Cease USSD Call Forwarding from April 15; Measures to Combat Fraud

NEW DELHI: In order curb the rise in the online frauds, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has directed the telecom operators to immediately shut down USSD-based call forwarding services across India with effect from April 15 this year. This move is more on the deceptive side as it is to be followed by the increase in various related activities of illegal call forwarding.

USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) call forwarding, which allows incoming calls to be diverted from one number to another until further notice, according to a guideline issued by the DoT.

Previously accessible by dialing a specific code (*401#) on mobile devices, USSD call forwarding facilitated functions including balance query, IMEI retrieval, call redirection and voicemail management however with the suspension Users will have to find other ways to enable call forwarding, although the exact details of these options are still not known.

The telecom companies have been urged to provide users with alternatives to manage outbound calls instead of discontinuing the USSD service. As the DoT directive is being subjected to be applicable on only calls for a temporary withdrawal as per usage of the service, figures however readily suggest that it could be kept in for the future. Thus it is impacted heavily by increased security measures in order to prevent various online abuse and fraud causing threats to the public.

By introducing this infrastructure, the DoT seeks to reduce the vulnerabilities associated with USSD-based calls, thereby strengthening the integrity of the telecommunications industry and protecting consumers from cyber threats.

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Sentinel Assam