How to Report International Call-Fraud to the DoT Toll-Free?

by Vinaya HS on January 9, 2007

in Business & Management

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Sandeep’s got the scoop on the Department of Telecommunications’ (DOT’s) latest move to curb those international call-fraud exchanges operating within India.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT, as we fondly call it) wants you to report every time you receive an international call that comes from a national number. Here’s the text message I received just now:

Dear Customer, if you receive an international call for which the Caller Line Identification (CLI or, more popularly, Caller ID) displayed is a local or national number, please inform at toll-free number 1 800 110 420 – DoT.

We definitely live in interesting times.

What’s the story behind such a message?

The DoT and the Indian security agencies are chiefly concerned with two situations:

  1. An international call for which the Caller ID is blank and
  2. An international call for which the Caller ID is a local or national number

In the first situation, the security agencies are worried about possible terrorist operations; the DoT is worried about International Long Distance (ILD) operators losing revenue in the form of Access Deficit Charges (ADC). Although the security agencies want such calls to be terminated upon entry, political and business implications have forced the DoT to act otherwise. It’s a toss between national security interests, political relations, and cash flows from business. The compromise has been to get the ILD operators in India to assign a two-digit carrier code followed by the country code from where the call is received. This way you can at least track the location of call origination. I am quite sure that the security agencies are not too happy with this compromise.

In the second situation, the security agencies are still worried (these calls cannot be monitored); the DoT is worried more. Here the incoming ILD calls are illegally routed through unauthorised exchanges inside the country. These calls cause revenue losses to the government as they bypass all levies that are charged on incoming ILD calls. The DoT therefore wants to root them out. And what better way to crackdown – there was one in Mumbai recently – on such illegal exchanges than to empower customers to provide timely information?

It’s a great move in my opinion, and one we, as responsible citizens of India, must use. Let me know if you have such an experience.


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sajith January 22, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Today I received an international call from my friend in Swiss and got the caller id as 9393895082.From this article I understand that all these cases need to be reported to a toll free number given by DOT.But its of no use trying to tell the dept by calling on that useless number bcos after trying for so many times i am not able to reach it.Its of no use trying to save India with such toll free numbers..Of course may b all the stuff are only on paper just for name sake.

Vinaya HS January 22, 2007 at 2:23 PM


I thought there was some hope.

xyz January 23, 2007 at 5:40 PM

It is actually that i receive some silly message from the no. 966561211369.

Hope you will help me

Nitin February 6, 2007 at 7:26 PM

Same story as above. I got some international calls, but the no. displayed were local ones (beginning from 939), and when I attempted to report this at the number listed, I was told “Services to this number have been temporarily disconnected”
Ugh! Is desh ka kya hoga!?

Nitin February 6, 2007 at 7:36 PM

:-D Did some googling, found another no. “1-600-110-420″ from DoT’s site… and guess what – the message is loud, clear and err.. almost the same – “Services to this no. are unavailable!”

Amay October 9, 2007 at 3:09 PM

I have a ISD miss call but the number displayed on my cell phone is not complete. Everytime i got a call, sometimes miss call mainly at night from a number which is local but CLI displayed is ISD. I am realy fed up of this, Please HELP!. I make so many call to this TOLLFREE number but the phone is going engage on every call i make to this number. Then i called 1963 – DoT, but i think they were not interested in talking and they disconnected.
Please help me out from this problem.


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