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CRTC taking action on those spam phone calls

CRTC taking action on those spam phone calls

How many times have you seen a call coming in on your call display looking like at 905 or 519 area code only to find yourself talking to somebody in a faraway land talking about furnace-duct cleaning or trying to lend you money? It’s called spoofing—hiding the identity of the caller behind a fake phone number that looks like a local call.

The Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) is announcing a new technological solution that will force telephone providers to adopt a technology that screens out  the spoof calls . The new technology is called STIR/SHAKEN*. It intercepts the incoming calls and relays them, to telephone providers for verification.

In a release, the CRTC says, “as of today, telecommunications service providers will certify whether a caller’s identity can be trusted by verifying the caller ID information for Internet Protocol-based voice calls. This new technology will help reduce the frequency and impact of caller ID spoofing. As service providers continue to upgrade their IP networks and offer compatible phones to their customers, more and more Canadians will be able to see the effects of STIR/SHAKEN.”

The spoofing issue became a serious problem with the proliferation of VOIP (Internet phone service). It allowed spammers to tap into phone services without going through legitimate telephone providers.

The CRTC says it has taken several steps over the years top combat the nuisance calls: It:

  • Encouraged service providers to offer their customers call-filtering services that provide advanced call-management features;
  • Asked providers to block certain types of calls within their networks;
  • Approved a trial of a new call-blocking measure using artificial intelligence developed by Bell Canada. Between July 2020 and October 2021, more than 1.1 billion calls were blocked before reaching Bell’s subscribers.
  • The CRTC is also working with the industry to develop a process to trace nuisance calls back to their points of origin.

“This new caller ID technology will empower Canadians to determine which calls are legitimate and worth answering, and which need to be treated with caution. As more providers upgrade their networks, STIR/SHAKEN will undoubtedly reduce spoofing and help Canadians regain peace of mind when answering phone calls,” said Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO, CRTC

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