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Stopping Illegal Robocalls Where They Start

Our Mission

We are working with others in the fight against the robocall scourge.

We focus on the providers of telecommunications services to hundreds of millions of Americans. Consumer and small-business customers are fed up with the worsening epidemic of illegal robocalls. Many providers have taken steps necessary to prevent these calls from originating on their platforms. They do this by vetting their customers, limiting high volume placement of calls, and routinely auditing for suspicious traffic. We all recognize that it is far more effective to stop illegal calls at the source, so when problematic calling campaigns are identified, we cooperate to trace them to their point of origin to take appropriate action.

When ALL telecommunications providers work together this way, we will have a measurable impact on this scourge. Our Forum shares best practices and responds rapidly to new methods of attack; we invite every provider to participate. In the past, traceback efforts have sometimes been stymied by uncooperative upstream providers. Going forward, the are encouraging all provider(s) sourcing that traffic to take proactive steps to mitigate illegal calls. That includes retaining identification of volume calling customers and promptly sharing the source of problematic calls in response to traceback requests. Most provider contracts and tariffs already prohibit illegal calling. Providers (and their customers) must be diligent in meeting that constraint.

The focus of our efforts is illegal calls, starting with the most prolific offenders. Providers (and their customers) that are not conduits for these illegal calls will not face new obligations from our initiative, but all providers – and their customers – will benefit when we together turn the tide on illegal robocall volume. Even calls from overseas must enter the USA network through some USA provider. We have an opportunity and an obligation to pursue this initiative as part of a multipronged approach to the illegal robocall problem.

The latest from our blog:

RRAPTOR Takes on Fraudulent Utility Calls

RRAPTOR is a robocall surveillance platform that captures thousands of robocalls daily. It analyzes and groups them in many different ways, including matching keywords and phrases in the messages they play as well as inspecting the phone numbers that they use and the STIR/SHAKEN signatures they carry. Some of the most troubling calls are those…

Best Practices for Lead Generators

A large fraction of the robocalls we receive are placed by Lead Generators. This cottage industry is part of the massive world of marketing. Like a TV commercial or a billboard or a post card in your mailbox, a phone call from a lead generator is an attempt to sell you some product or service.…

Attestation Inflation – The ABC’s of Signing Calls

Virtually all VoIP call originators are now REQUIRED to sign their calls — see our earlier post about this mandate. Despite this, some intermediate providers are not requiring their upstreams to properly sign their calls (or insisting on a thorough explanation of why they are sending calls unsigned). So the intermediate is signing calls –…

RRAPTOR Live at the SIP Forum’s STIR/SHAKEN Enterprise Summit Oct. 18

The SIP Forum’s twice-yearly events have been the place to go for the latest insights on STIR/SHAKEN. The week of October 17, they will hold their Enterprise Summit virtual event. It will be free to attend, just as their spring SIPNOC event was. SIPNOC drew an impressive audience with plenty of useful information being shared.…

KYC & RMD Go Hand-in-Glove: How the Robocall Mitigation Database is an Integral Part of Proper Know-Your-Customer Diligence

The Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD) is a cornerstone of the FCC’s Call Authentication (STIR/SHAKEN) Framework and must be incorporated into every provider’s Know-Your-Customer processes. Exactly how you do this will depend on the roles played by you and your call source along the call path. The table below shows the possibilities: We are not attorneys,…

FCC Says Neighbor Spoofing Is Illegal

Last fall I posted, “Shouldn’t Neighbor Spoofing Be Illegal? Wait! It Already Is!” Most telecom experts think that if a telephone number is assigned to you, or you have the permission of the assignee, it is perfectly fine to use that number as your caller-ID when placing calls. But the Truth In Caller-ID Act does…