Robocalling: Time’s Up for Bad Actors

U.S. regulatory agencies are finally starting to crack down on predatory robocalling. For example, last week the FCC and the FTC released a joint statement warning three gateway providers to stop facilitating COVID-19 robocalling.

On Friday, the providers were given 48 hours to put an end to the practice before service providers could start blocking all traffic from their networks.

The FCC and FTC are hailing this as a groundbreaking effort to keep scammers from reaching American consumers.

“During this national emergency, it is unconscionable that these companies are abusing their access to our nation’s telephone network by serving as conduits for scam robocallers who are subjecting Americans to coronavirus-related fraud,” explained FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement. “This must end and must end now. And to any other service provider that’s carrying or is thinking of carrying such traffic, be warned: If you do so, you too will find yourselves excluded from our phone system.”

In addition, the FCC has officially adopted new rules requiring phone companies to use caller authentication. The new standards are called “STIR/SHAKEN” and are specifically designed to protect against “spoofing,” a tactic used by robocallers to trick consumers into answering their phones.

Moving forward, all originating and terminating voice service providers must implement STIR/ SHAKEN into the IP portions of their networks. The deadline for compliance is June 30, 2021.

In addition, the FCC has adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rule making, to collect public comments on expanding STIR/SHAKEN to include intermediate voice service providers. The FCC is also looking into adopting requirements to promote caller ID authentication on voice networks that don’t use IP technology. Certain parts of the TRACED Act are being reconsidered as well.

Here at Televergence, we take robocalling seriously—which is why agents consistently trust us to handle their customers’ telephony operations.