What the Tech? Are Efforts to Stop Robocalls Really Working?
Are you still getting the same number of robocalls? The number of illegal calls from spammers was expected to drop after the implementation of the technology called STIR/SHAKEN.
If you’re getting the same number of calls or even more, it’s likely your wireless carrier hasn’t fully implemented the technology.
According to the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database, Sprint/T-Mobile is the only carrier of the big three that’s fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN.
What is STIR/SHAKEN? It’s a new technology (actually it’s been available to carriers for several years) that requires carriers to verify that calls are being placed from the actual number being used.
For example, if a robocaller uses computers to place calls from spoofed numbers that appear to be coming from a number in your area, that call should not go through.
All carriers were required to implement STIR/SHAKEN by June 30th. The immediate result was fewer robocalls. According to RoboKiller, an app to block unwanted spam calls, robocalls dropped by around 3% in July after STIR/SHAKEN was to be implemented. But in August, the number was up to 6.29 billion robocalls which is slightly less than the record high between February and March of 6.37 billion robocalls.
That’s nearly 23 spam calls per person!
The good news STIR/SHAKEN brings is the ability for the average consumer to spot an incoming robocall before answering the phone. Spam calls from your local area code may still be getting through but most robocalls will now appear to come from a long distance number.
If you get a call from an unknown number from New York, Florida, California or anywhere you don’t know someone, it’s likely spam. It’s best to ignore the call and let it go to voicemail.
It’s also more useful than ever to sign up for the FCC’s “Do Not Call” registry as it gives you a bit more protection from robocalls.
It’s also more important than ever to report robocalls to the FCC as the commission can more easily identify companies making the unlawful calls. Just this week the FCC proposed a $5 million fine against three individuals and their companies for making unlawful robocalls.
Remember, don’t hit any buttons on the phone to speak to an agent or to remove yourself from a caller’s phone list. That will likely only cause you to get more calls since they know it’s a working number.
To report an unlawful robocall visit the FCC’s website.