TechnologyT-Mobile and AT&T are actually working together to stop robocalls
How T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint fight robocalls on their network
Your cell phone provider can help protect you from robocalls. These are the tools T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint offer to their customers.
The scourge of robocalls and spoofed numbers is bad as now as it’s ever been, but in recent weeks, the government and the private sector have both been taking the issue more seriously. In fact, US mobile carriers T-Mobile and AT&T revealed on Wednesday that they are teaming up to bring call cross-network call authentication protections to their subscribers. That’s right — two of the industry’s biggest rivals are working together to help you.
T-Mobile and AT&T will take advantage of the SHAKEN/STIR caller authentication technology to ensure that anyone who receives a call on either of their networks or between their networks knows when the call is legitimate and when it’s spam. SHAKEN/STIR will verify a call is from the number that appears on your caller ID.
AT&T says it will automatically block robocalls ‘in the coming months’
The first major carrier to automatically block fraudulent calls
As we’ve noted in previous articles about the robocall nightmare, SHAKEN/STIR (which stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) is the standard that the FCC recommends carriers use to digitally verify phone calls. T-Mobile and AT&T say that SHAKEN/STIR will be more effective as more device makers and network providers support the technology.
“U.S. mobile customers received nearly 48 billion robocalls last year – more than 150 calls for every adult!” the joint press release from T-Mobile and AT&T declares. “Unwanted robocalls aren’t slowing down but caller verification can help customers better decide which calls they answer or ignore.”
AT&T and T-Mobile will now verify phone calls between their networks
AT&T and T-Mobile have started rolling out cross-network call authentication services for their subscribers. That means the companies will now be able notify their customers if the call they're getting from the other carrier truly is from the number shown on screen or if it's a spoofed robocall. Spam calls are a growing problem in the US today, with customers in the country getting inundated with 48 billion robocalls last year. Call verification won't eradicate the issue, but it'll give subscribers the choice not to answer potentially illegal calls, which could be scams or attempts to steal their identity.
We’re still a ways away from robocalls being intercepted and cut off before they reach our phones, but this is a huge step in the right direction, especially for those of us who still actually make and receive phone calls on a regular basis and don’t want to second guess every time we have to pick up the phone.
Phone companies and state attorneys general join forces to fight robocalls.
US consumers receive as many as 350,000 unwanted calls every three minutes, according to the FCC. Despite multiple efforts to end the onslaught, an estimated 4.7 billion robocalls hit American phones in July alone. Now, attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are teaming up with 12 carriers in a united effort to prevent and block the spam calls. Under the new agreement, the carriers will implement call-blocking technology, make anti-robocall tools free to consumers and deploy a system that labels calls as legitimate or spam, The Washington Post reports. The companies also agree to aid investigations by law enforcement.
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