Closure of USSD Call Forwarding Service Effective April 15: Government Decision to Prevent Fraudulent Activities

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has ordered all telecom companies in the country to discontinue the facility of call forwarding via USSD codes. This decision was made to prevent fraudulent and fake calls, both online and offline.

Following this order, the facility to forward calls by dialing *401# will be discontinued from April 15. USSD stands for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, which is a short code.

With this feature, users can activate and deactivate services by dialing a code. Typically, mobile users dial these codes to check their phone balance, set caller tunes, use UPI, or find out their IMEI number.

How does USSD call forwarding service work? If a mobile user ‘A’ dials *401# and makes a call to an unknown number ‘B’, all incoming calls or messages received on User ‘A’s mobile will be forwarded to user ‘B’s phone. This means that now User ‘A’s calls and messages will be accessible to User ‘B’. Scammers often use this method.

In this, scammers call your number, pretending to be a telecom provider, and ask you to dial *401# to stop network and any other problems.

As soon as you dial this number, you are told to make a call to an unknown number. As soon as you dial it, every incoming call or message received on your number will be forwarded to the unknown number you dialed after *401#.

Cybersecurity Tips to Stay Safe:

  1. Do Not Share Account Details: Never share sensitive information such as ATM numbers or four-digit PINs with anyone.
  2. Banks Do Not Ask for Such Information: Remember that banks never ask for such details from you. If in doubt, contact your bank.
  3. Avoid Sharing Personal Information: Refrain from sharing personal information or your number on social media platforms.
  4. Frequently Change Passwords: Change your ATM or online account passwords regularly, ideally every few months.
  5. Be Cautious of Money Requests: If someone asks you for money and claims they need a PIN, do not share it. This is likely a scam.
  6. Be Careful with App Permissions: Be cautious while installing applications. Many apps ask for permissions like location, camera, photos, and videos. Read the app permissions carefully.
  7. Verify Apps and Sources: Install apps only from trusted sources like the official app stores. Read reviews and verify app authenticity before downloading.

By following these cybersecurity practices, you can better protect yourself from online threats and scams.

Arvind Amble

My name is Arvind Amble. As a tech enthusiast and writer, I'm fascinated by the ever-evolving world of technology, AI, IOS, Android, Software & Apps, and Digital Marketing. With a keen eye for emerging trends and a passion for innovation, I bring a fresh perspective to my writing, blending technical expertise with a creative flair.