Phone Companies Team Up to Stop Illegal Robocalls

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Phone Companies Team Up to Stop Illegal Robocalls

A new agreement has been made between all 50 states, the District of Columbia, as well as 12 telecoms including Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. The cause they are uniting against is Illegal robocalls and attorneys general across the United States are ready to fight.

This motley crew has agreed on a set of principles designed to stop the constant harassment of robocalls that most Americans are currently enduring. The agreement also includes call blocking technology that will be used at the network level and provided to consumers invisibly and without additional charge. This new tech will be integrated with additional services and apps that roll in call authentication, call blocking as well as call labeling.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced that the group has joined together to create ways to protect the most vulnerable consumers from scams and harassment and believes this agreement will do just that.

Robocallers are much more than just a nuisance. Many target unsuspecting people and scam them out of personal and financial information. These targets lose more than their time on the call, they lose money, security and even their identity.

One way scammers convince people they are legitimate and con information out of them is called Neighborhood Spoofing. This makes a call appear to be from someone’s same area code when if fact the call could be coming from anywhere. This is where the new SHAKEN/STIR framework comes into play. This new authentication system prevents spoofing by confirming the original location of the call and using security tokens to travel between networks tracing the route. This would allow phone companies that participate in SHAKEN/STIR to trace activity between any other participating network. In time this could eliminate call spoofing altogether.

One entrepreneur has offered a possible solution that requires no technology improvements at all. He simply tells the callers to pay for calling illegally. This approach would seem to work as the company now offer a kit for $47 that claims to allow users to demand and receive payment for calls they receive. While this is an interesting position it would appear technology is rapidly catching up to this problem.

The FCC has in the past suggested that phone carries simply block all robocalls by default. Since many carriers already offer a service that allows user to block robocalls at the network level this would seem to be an easy fix, however carriers charge extra for this serves so that might not work for them financially.