New technology alerting more consumers to spam calls

To block unwanted calls to consumers, the FCC requires telephone companies to use technology that informs a consumer when an unknown number is legitimate.

COLUMBIA, SC – If you use a home phone, big changes are coming this week.

Tuesday was a critical deadline for telephone operators. You have been instructed by the FCC Start using new technology to identify unwanted calls.

“The real need for this was for it to be so easy to forge phone calls,” said Bailey Parker, director of communications and public information at the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SDCCA). “A scammer is actually copying someone’s phone number, be it a government agency or another company, or just a random person.”

To block unwanted calls to consumers, the FCC requires phone companies to use a technology called a STIR / SHAKE.

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By providing software updates to corporate IP networks, STIR / SHAKEN can help verify the number of the call, block it if necessary, and inform consumers that it may be spam.

“You will be able to better tell whether or not to answer the phone. It’s like a lot of cellular carriers, you are going to get a call now and they have implemented the technology called “Possible Spam”. . “

Parker says, keep in mind that this rule only applies to landlines.

If your wireless service provider isn’t already helping identify spam calls, Parker recommends asking them if they offer the service.

“Call your operator to see if they signed up for the STIR / SHAKEN because if not you may want to consider switching operators,” she added.

The deadline for major telephone companies to use this technology was Tuesday, September 28th.

For the small phone providers with 100,000 lines or less, their deadline for implementing call blocking software is no more than two years. SCDCA officials say they are helping the FCC set an earlier deadline for these smaller companies, as data has shown that many robocalls are from small service providers.

According to the FCC, 4,800 phone companies have implemented STIR / SHAKEN to date, including all of the country’s largest wireless operators.

“The FCC uses every tool imaginable to combat malicious robocalls and spoofing – from substantial fines against malicious actors to policy changes and technical innovations such as STIR / SHAKEN,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a press release on Tuesday. “Today’s deadline is a very powerful tool to block illegal robocalls.”

If you’re wondering if the number of unwanted robocalls is going to go down, don’t get your hopes up, says Parker.

“You won’t get fewer calls, unfortunately,” she said.

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Robocalls and text messages from numbers you don’t know are still prevalent, and you are encouraged to report them to the state’s Department of Consumers.

“The text messages you get will keep coming and they will become more common because it’s very easy to send text messages, even easier than phone calls,” said Parker.

According to the FCC, calls from providers who are not using this new technology must be locked now from domestic telephone networks.

To view the telephone companies that have registered in the Robocall Mitigation Database and implemented STIR / SHAKEN, Click here.