I have received 8 spam calls over the last 2 weeks so I thought I’d look up what the CRTC has been doing regarding these pesky calls. Apparently, late last year the CRTC required Canadian telecommunications providers to implement new STIR(Secure Telephony Information Revisited)/SHAKEN (signature-based handling of asserted information using tokens) technology (must’ve been a Bond fan that came up with that acronym) to help combat robocalls. This technology is supposed to verify whether calls made from the internet are legit or not and notify consumers. Prior to this tech, caller ID spoofing has been pretty rampant, often tricking people with what seems like a legitimate number calling them on their caller ID but in reality, it is some spam caller calling over the internet. According to the CBC article, I linked below, 25% of all calls made in Canada are robocalls. That number was a lot higher than I thought it’d be and clearly indicates the magnitude of this problem. This STIR/SHAKEN technology helps consumers know whether or not the calls are from a legit source (aka help with ID spoofing), but it seems it does not actually filter out the calls and block them. Bell ran a trial using AI that blocked spam callers between July 2020 and October 2021 and during this period they blocked 1.1 billion calls. Bell has applied to the CRTC to permanently block callers that they know are fraudulent and the CRTC is reviewing their application. Hopefully, the CRTC and Canadian telecommunications providers can work out a solution to eliminate, or at least reduce the number of spam calls that actually reach our phones in the near future because I for sure do not know any people from San Antonio, Fresno, or Regina.
– Amit Chandi
PS* register your number on the ‘National Do Not Call List’ to prevent telemarketers from calling you – might help with some of the calls, register here: https://lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/en