New Mandate Could Mean the End of Spoofed Robocalls by Next Year

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Robocalls could be a thing of the past by next summer thanks to a new mandate from the Federal Communications Commission.

Here’s What the FCC Is Doing About Robocalls

The FCC has asked all mobile carriers and phone companies to get on board with implementing new technology that promises to drastically lower the number of robocalls we all get.

All voice service providers have been asked to have the spoof robocall-fighting “STIR/SHAKEN” technology in place by no later than June 30, 2021, according to a press release.

“STIR/SHAKEN enables phone companies to verify that the caller ID information transmitted with a call matches the caller’s phone number,” the FCC notes.

Widespread deployment of this burgeoning technology will:

  • Make illegally spoofed calls less effective
  • Assist law enforcement with identifying bad actors who make those phony calls
  • Help phone companies identify calls with illegally spoofed caller ID information before they hit your phone

For about a year now, certain industry players have embraced the new caller authentication technology. Unfortunately, not all carriers are on board as of yet — which is exactly why this mandate has been issued.

AT&T was an early mover in this space, reaching out to competing voice networks like T-Mobile and Xfinity Voice to authenticate calls across networks. Now the FCC is asking everyone to follow their lead.

The STIR/SHAKEN technology effectively lets you know if an incoming number is legitimate. It also flags calls from numbers that are being spoofed by criminals.

Ultimately, Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN) are dual tech efforts that aim to prove a given call originates from the number that it says it does. They work together in conjunction with one another.

Central to their efforts is the use of token technology as a stamp of approval when a call originates. A token is essentially used to create a digital signature whenever a call is initiated.

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Of course, nothing is foolproof. But this new mandate should go a long way to reducing robocalls when and if it’s fully implemented across all networks.

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