How the fight against robotic calls is developing in the USA – on the measures of politicians and telecommunication companies

The number of telephone fraudsters has increased in Russia. In 2019, the FinCERT Central Bank blocked five thousand numbers belonging to intruders. The figure is quite modest, but it is 39 times more than a year earlier. And today, during the epidemiological crisis, risks of this kind only increased. Therefore, we all should be more careful. The situation will become increasingly tense until the regulator pays attention to the growing problem.

It is this scenario that is now unfolding in the United States, where there is a war with robotic calls. We decided to look at what methods of struggle are offered by politicians, telecoms and IT companies.

/ Unsplash / Chris fuller

How does the situation develop?

According to YouMail, in 2018 in the United States was registered almost 48 billion robotic calls. This figure grew by 22% in 2019 and has reached at 58.5 billion. Today, unwanted calls are the most common cause of consumer complaints to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Behind a significant portion of dialers are scammers. Over the past year FTC registered 400 thousand applications from residents from whom money was extorted. The total damage was estimated at 153 million dollars.

But the real figure may be much larger, since not all report such crimes. Nathan Leamer of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considersthat robotic calls pose a serious threat to the economy. According to him, because of fraudsters, American consumers lose up to $ 3 billion annually.

Government Initiatives

Given the magnitude of the problem, politicians decided to tackle robotic calls. Earlier this year, law entered into force in the United States. TRACED – Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act. is he expands FCC authority in matters related to the collection of fines from organizers of illegal calls. Already there are first results – over the past three months, the Ministry of Justice put forward charges to 400 people who extorted money from the elderly. This is twice as much as over the entire last year. According to the country’s attorney general, William Barr, a quarter of the attackers have already been convicted.

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The problem is also being dealt with in the Federal Trade Commission. At the end of March, its representatives sent out letters to key VoIP providers and reminded them of the need to block illegal auto-calling services. Otherwise, the FTC will prepare legal claims. In the past, the regulator already filed to court on James Christiano, owner of NetDotSolutions, involved in organizing a billion robotic calls.

What do companies do

Telecoms are also updating their infrastructure to combat unwanted calls to customers. For example, they are introducing the new SHAKEN / STIR standard. It is based on working with digital certificates that identify callers. Last week, T-Mobile operator concluded Partnership with Bandwidth Inc. to offer the new service to more customers. The introduction of SHAKEN / STIR also engaged Sprint, Comcast, and AT&T. At USTelecom they saythat SHAKEN / STIR will give people more control – it will be easier for them to decide whether to pick up the phone.

/ Unsplash / Brunno tozzo

Also telephone companies concluded cooperation agreements with prosecutors in all states. They pledged to promptly transmit information to the law enforcement authorities about the facts of automatic dialers. Large ones are also fighting robotic calls IT companies. A month ago google announcedthat added the Call Screen option to all Pixel phones. It automatically filters unwanted calls. Previously, the function was available only on the flagship devices of the corporation. At the same time, the company promised add corresponding API in Android 11 so that all mobile app developers can use the lock.

How effective will the new initiatives be, official statistics will show.

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