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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:

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: YOUR SOURCE’S ROLE: YOUR…

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…

Hanging Up On Dialer Traffic

It’s been almost a year since we posted about Dialer Traffic In the Spotlight. Not much has changed. Brief calls are a normal part of conversational (human-to-human) telephone traffic. But when short-duration calls DOMINATE the traffic flow from one provider to another, the industry labels it “dialer traffic.” These calls are automatically dialed and often…

Stir/Shaken Puts Your Reputation On The Line

ZipDX, leveraging the FCC’s STIR/SHAKEN call authentication mandate, has developed a new system designed to quickly detect suspect robocall activity and report details back to the signing provider. This platform, called RRAPTOR, gives telecommunications providers new opportunities to play an even larger role in solving the illegal robocall problem that has been plaguing all of…

This Is Not Effective Robocall Mitigation

Earlier this month, USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group, alongside the Communications Fraud Control Association, hosted a panel discussion featuring enforcers from the FCC, the FTC, and the Indiana and Vermont Attorney General’s offices. The video is here. Each of these agencies has brought actions against Voice Service Providers for facilitating illegal robocalling. Most, if not all,…

Probable Cause, One State at a Time

We’re hearing more about state Attorneys General going after illegal robocallers. In many cases, an AG starts with a complaint from a constituent located in their and follows that thread via traceback. But what if a state AG does not have specific traceback results for a call to their state. The AG might be aware…