When phone calls were first introduced, it was a wonderful way to erase physical distance from a conversation. Nowadays, a minority of phone calls feature a real conversation. On average, 54% of all phone calls received are uninvited spam. The US is the 8th most spammed nation in the world, its residents receiving upwards of 122,000 robocalls every minute. These calls are worse than a nuisance; in 2020 alone, phone scams swindled Americans out of $10 billion.
The troubles recipients face from spam calls are well known. Less acknowledged is the damage businesses suffer when their calls are lumped in with spam. Spoofing is harming the operations of reputable businesses. When scammers spoof real phone numbers to make their spam more convincing, they are difficult to trace and impossible to police. Their association with the spoofed number taints further usage. The algorithms phone carriers use to detect spam are well-intended, but they lead to many reputable businesses receiving the label of “spam likely.” Thousands of business calls are incorrectly flagged as spam every day. This is because the phone carrier algorithms look for high call volumes, customer complaints, and lead blocking to determine which numbers are perpetrating spam.
How Do We Discern a Spam Caller From an Honest Business?
How do phone carriers protect consumers from spam without harming any honest businesses? Enter the STIR/SHAKEN revolution, here to restore trust in phone communications. The revolution traces back 15 months to the passage of the TRACED Act in March 2020, a law designed to fight back against robocalls. Now in June 2021, STIR/SHAKEN implements caller ID authentication to combat spoofing and robocalls. All service providers are expected to be on board with the new standards.
Here’s how the new system works. When a business places an outbound call, the phone carrier sends their number to a system for authentication. There, the call can be assigned 1 of 3 ratings. An A rating is full verification, meaning the customer and number are both verified. A B rating is a partial verification, in which the customer is verified but their number is not. Lastly, a C rating is for gateway calls. The call origination could not be authenticated on a C call. Once the correct rating is determined, caller ID may show the recipient if their caller is verified or likely spam. These higher levels of attestation are meant to inspire trust among consumers.
The Benefits of the New System are Spread Across Groups
Businesses can carry on as verified customers and consumers know for certain which calls they can trust. Should a business want to further reduce its risk of being lumped in with spam, there are a few extra steps worth considering. Rotating numbers to reduce call volume per number is one possibility, as is the mixing of hot and cold leads to maximize response chances. Services like PhoneBurner are also around to improve calling results, and they act in full compliance with the new STIR/SHAKEN regulations. It’s time to call with confidence again.