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Saturday, 27 April 2019 05:32

Wangiri Calls: TRAI trashes its own old order

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Wangiri is a Japanese word which means one ring and drop; it is a phone scam where typically automated systems are used to make short and random calls to mobile phone numbers, leaving behind a missed number that is either premium or has promotional messages, all in the hope that the unsuspecting recipient will call back. 

On 28 April, the telecom regulator TRAI withdrew its more than six-year old direction placing restrictions on international call facility for pre-paid SIMs to protect consumers from missed call scam known as Wangiri calls. 

Recently the industry informed the regulator about steps being taken to shield subscribers from such international phone call frauds, according to TRAI.

In Sep 2012, the regulator issued a direction asking access service providers to ensure that no ISD facility is activated on pre-paid SIMs without explicit consent of the consumer. The move was aimed at protecting the interest of the consumer. 

Platforms were asked to inform all pre-paid subscribers that their existing ISD facility would be discontinued after 60 days and that subscribers would have to give their explicit consent if they wanted to continue with said facility, the regulator explained in its directive on the issue. 

Later, Industry body Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI), however, went into an appeal against the directive before the telecom tribunal and the latter, in an order dated September 18, 2012, asked the regulator not to take any coercive steps. 

COAI had also urged the regulator to issue directions to International Long Distance Operators to block the incoming calls from the identified codes. 

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