The technology exists that could (practically) wipe out robocalls. Here’s our best hope:

Did you know it’s been illegal for a cellular company to block a call? An FCC proposal, if approved will protect wireless carriers and give them the freedom to aggressively go after and block spam and robocalls.

Frankly, the FCC has been trying to eliminate robocalls for 5 years and wireless companies are using apps like NoMoRobo, HiYa and their own technology, yet we’re getting more calls than ever. Last month, according to the call blocking app YouMail, there were 4.9 billion robocalls placed, which is almost 2 thousand every second.

Blocking all robocalls is unlikely, but there is hope with new technology that the carriers will now be able to use:

In the past year or so, spammers started spoofing numbers so that the robocalls appear to be coming from nearby. A new technology called “SHAKEN/STIR” could identify those spoofed calls. Here’s how it works:

Your phone number would be verified by your wireless carrier. If a spammer uses your number, your carrier could verify that it’s coming from your phone. If it isn’t, the carrier could block the call. Calls from verified numbers would be identified on the receiver’s screen with a green checkmark.

Some wireless companies are also using algorithms to identify spoofed calls by recognizing a bank of numbers suddenly making thousands of calls in a short time, or if they detect that the numbers making calls are getting a lot of quick hang-ups from the people answering. With the FCC proposal, carriers could block those calls by default.

Another challenge for wireless carries is allowing legitimate robocalls, such as from schools, pharmacists and credit card payment reminders, to get through.

While there is no silver bullet that will keep you from ever getting a robocall, the best hope is that robo or spam calls will be identified whenever the phone rings, or have those calls blocked by your cellphone company.

 

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