Today marks a significant point of progress in the war against robocallers. If you’re a North American citizen and are a mobile/voice service customer, chances are you’ve had to deal with unsolicited calls from suspicious numbers. Most customers tend to block or ignore these calls, but there are millions of citizens across the nation that have fallen victim to these phone scams. In fact, a recent report by CNBC found that Americans lost nearly $30 billion due to phone scams in 2020 alone.
This technological plague has been a major area of focus for the government, which eventually led the FCC (News - Alert) to implement the new STIR/SHAKEN guidelines for voice service providers. To those unfamiliar with the terms, STIR/SHAKEN standards are requirements for telecomm service providers that offer added protections for consumers against suspicious call activity. Service providers must now implement call authentication programming into IP networks to help prevent scammers from landing successful attacks. After a year of reminding larger voice service providers about the importance of this new standard, the official deadline has officially arrived.
“At last, STIR/SHAKEN standards are a widely used reality in American phone networks,” said Rosenworcel. “While there is no silver bullet in the endless fight against scammers, STIR/SHAKEN will turbo-charge many of the tools we use in our fight against robocalls: from consumer apps and network-level blocking, to enforcement investigations and shutting down the gateways used by international robocall campaigns. This is a good day for American consumers who – like all of us – are sick and tired of illegal spoofed robocalls.”
Although 6/30/2021 marks the deadline for larger service providers, smaller organizations with less than 100,000 subscribers have until 6/30/2023 to meet requirements. However, the massive rise in robocall activity over the last year is forcing the FCC to consider moving that date up. Readers can visit the official FCC website to learn more about the requirements of STIR/SHAKEN, as well as information on how to file a compliance certification.
Edited by Luke Bellos