Innovation Needed to Assist Consumers Against Unwanted Calls

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  August 05, 2022

The mobile phone market gained much of the focus the past few years in the fight against spam and phone scams. At the same time, nearly 40 million landline phone owners in American households have had to basically fend for themselves against unwanted callers because of the lack of innovation and ineffective programs like the Do Not Call Registry and STIR/SHAKEN.

The Registry only works if the sales company actually observes it and does not call if the phone owner is registered. The Registry does not stop scammers who completely ignore the registry list.

STIR/SHAKEN does help, but was implemented to help prevent bad actors from scamming consumers and businesses through robocalls and illegal phone number spoofing. It authenticates caller ID, but does not actually stop unwanted calls – though it does help identify them and reduce consumer risk.

"Scam callers are smart. They constantly change their caller ID and can often make it look like a neighbor is calling,” said Andy Dale, head of Engineering at imp. “It is no wonder blocking doesn't work."

imp says that 940 million calls were made to American landline phones each week in 2022. In its report report, it notes that:

  • 83% of landline phone owners were actively bothered by unwanted calls.
  • 79% of calls received were unwanted. Households with a landline phone receive on average 24 calls per week. Landline users classify 19 of these 24 calls as unwanted, and five of the 24 calls are wanted calls from friends and family.
  • 5% of landline calls were stopped by traditional call blockers.

As landline owners spend around 45 minutes each week dealing with unwanted calls, they likely think to themselves what can they do to stop these calls. Of course, they can register with the DNC Registry and anti-spam software. They can also implement systems into their landline similar to what imp offers.

For example, imp offers Greenlist technology to sort callers into wanted and unwanted categories. Additionally, the imp box is custom hardware that only needs to be plugged into the landline and into an outlet. The box will do the rest, checking with each call. It will allow wanted calls to come through while silently handling unwanted calls.

Mobile phone owners are not the only ones impacted by unwanted calls. Landline owners are seeing a 7% monthly increase and are in need of innovation to stop unwanted calls and potential scams.

Edited by Erik Linask