Published January, 2019
When spam Robocalls make up a greater percentage than actual
"real" calls, then we all know that something is terribly amiss.
With spoofed local numbers now showing up as caller ID presenting a
different picture than the true caller, the problem has risen to a new
level. Most people now don't answer many calls because of this enormous
problem, which says we are loosing our footing. The cost to both business
and individuals is a major concern.
The FTC fields more complaints for unwanted "spam" calls than for any other issue, however the changes and advancement in communications has made preventing these types of calls nearly impossible.
Telephone spam has become the problem it is for two major reasons. VoIP makes it easy to call numbers halfway around the world for nearly nothing. And a savvy person can set up computers to make thousands of calls hourly from some remote city into the US and make lots of money. The rewards are too great to easily dissuade the behavior.
A solution to prevent spoofed numbers from being easily faked is in the works. The quest is to to bring back phone numbers where they can once again be trusted. It can come from STIR (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs). The challenge is implement it so every phone has a trusted certificate of authenticity attached to it. Much like a green check mark that displays when you see a website result that shows "trusted", only this time it displays with the phone number on the phone coming from only the actual "real" number and not the spammer using that caller ID.
For the STIR/SHAKEN system to work carriers on both sides of a telephone call will need to have it implemented. Verizon has already stated down the path.
We are all hopeful that we can get back to trusting our communication's systems in the next year or two to a higher degree than the last couple of years.