Do You Trust That Number? New Regulations to Restore Faith

Did you know that the US ranks number 8 on the list of the most spammed places in the world? We’re worse off than Chile and only slightly better off than Russia when it comes to the amount of spam that bombards us on a daily basis. In fact, an average of 54% of all calls received are spam. 

Spammers love Americans! They make about $375 for each one of us, which will cost Americans $10 billion in 2020 alone.  Forty-six percent of us receive spam calls every single day. Total it all up and Americans received nearly 46 billion robocalls in 2020. That’s 175,699,527 calls per day, 122,014 per minute, and 2,034 per second. This astronomical number has completely dissolved America’s trust in telecommunications. 

Ultimately, the average American is not the only one to suffer financial loss due to spam and robocalls. Spoofing is greatly affecting reputable businesses and preventing them from connecting with consumers. Scammers spoof legitimate, local numbers to appear more convincing, which has led to proliferation of robocalls. In 2017, there were 30.5 billion robocalls. Because of spoofing, that number nearly doubled by 2019. This spoofing method is also preferred by spammers because it’s cheap, difficult to trace, and impossible to police. 

Phone companies have tried to combat spoofing by implementing spam algorithms, but this actually futhers the problems for reputable businesses. Spam algorithms detect high volume calls and automatically flag these as spam. Recipients file complaints about calls that may not actually have been spam. Numbers get blocked or sent straight to voicemail and ignored calls are more likely to be flagged as spam. Ninety percent of people do not answer calls from unknown numbers and all of these facts lead to thousands of reputable businesses getting flagged as spam every day

Legislators are working to resolve the issues through STIR/SHAKEN regulations. The STIR/SHAKEN revolution began in March 2020 with the Traced Act. This act requires all voice providers to implement a robocall mitigation program. In June of 2021, STIR/SHAKEN regulations implemented caller ID authentication to combat robocalls and spoofing. Every carrier is now expected to follow these standards. 

STIR/SHAKEN works through an “A,B,C” authentication process. A business places an outbound call which then gets sent for authentication via the service provider. The recipient’s caller ID will show three authentication possibilities. A – full authentication, meaning the caller and number have been verified; B – partial authentication, meaning the caller has been verified, but not the number; C – “gateway” call, meaning the call could not be authenticated and is likely spam. These attestation levels will give higher trust to call recipients. 

These benefits of these new regulations are certainly worth the effort it takes to implement them. Businesses can register their numbers for full verifications, which will naturally help them to once again be able to connect with consumers. Consumers will also be able to begin trusting telecommunications again and stop losing money to spammers. 

STIR/SHAKEN is a win-win for everyone!