Phone companies now using new technology to fight robocalls

The federal government gave the major phone companies until Wednesday to start using a new technology to combat robocalls and the FCC says the companies are.

The new tech is called STIR/SHAKEN. Basically, it’s supposed to identify who’s making the call to make sure the number on your caller ID is right.

“This widespread implementation helps protect consumers against malicious spoofed robocalls and helps law enforcement track bad actors,” the FCC said. “While there is no silver bullet in the endless fight against scammers, STIR/SHAKEN will turbo-charge many of the tools we use in our fight against robocalls: from consumer apps and network-level blocking, to enforcement investigations and shutting down the gateways used by international robocall campaigns. This is a good day for American consumers who – like all of us – are sick and tired of illegal spoofed robocalls.”

The FCC allowed smaller phone companies—ones with 100,000 or fewer subscriber lines—until June 30, 2023 to implement STIR/SHAKEN, but now says it’s thinking of shortening that for some of those companies “in light of new evidence indicating that they are originating a high and increasing quantity of illegal robocalls.”

The FCC wants to make sure people understand what this technology does and does not do.

“While STIR/SHAKEN will improve the quality of caller ID information, it does not mean the call itself is legitimate. This improved information will help verify the phone number from which the call was made – or flag that it is not verified – and help blocking services both at the consumer level and before the call reaches the consumer. But consumers should remain vigilant against robocall scammers,” the FCC added.

Multiple government agencies say robocalls are the number one issue consumers complain to them about: at the federal level, the FCC and at the state level, the North Carolina attorney general’s office.

The attorney general’s office even has a link to report the calls on its home page.

Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke asked the people behind the RoboKiller app how many unwanted calls people got in the Carolinas in just one recent month.

“In April, North Carolina placed 8th in most spam called state with more than 205 million estimated spam calls, and South Carolina placed 16th with 117 million spam calls,” a spokesperson for RoboKiller said.

(WATCH BELOW: Action 9: NC and SC ask phone companies to help you block robocalls)