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Many of the current telephone scams use caller ID spoofing to mask the identity of the caller. A few of those telephone scams spoof caller IDs that don’t match the North American standard for legitimate numbers. These blatantly obvious spoofed caller IDs are the target of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Last year, in December, the CRTC mandated that the Canadian carriers and other telecommunication service providers implement universal network-level call blocking.

What is Universal Network-Level Call Blocking?

Universal network-level call blocking is a method that blocks any spoofed caller ID that is obviously wrong. This method requires that the carriers and other telecommunication services block anything that doesn’t conform to the North American dialing standard. Universal network-level call blocking will block calls with a spoofed caller ID that contains any of the following: North American area codes that are unassigned, North American calls that have less than 10 digits or more than 10 digits or international calls with more than 15 digits. However, if a caller spoofs a caller ID that conforms to these requirements, the call would not be blocked.

What Universal Network-Level Call Blocking won’t do?

Universal network-level call blocking will block calls with caller IDs obviously spoofed, but this method doesn’t provide enough protection against illegitimate calls with spoofed caller IDs. It also doesn’t provide adequate protection against calls with spoofed caller IDs that conform to the North American standard where the caller is not authorized to use the number. This would mean that companies with legitimate or illegitimate uses are still able to utilize caller ID spoofing.

What are the CRTC and the FCC doing?

Both the CRTC and the FCC are pushing for caller ID authentication (SHAKEN/STIR). This will add verification to the caller ID and allow the telecommunication services of the person receiving the call to verify the call is coming from that particular person.

To allow for verification, the phone company where the call originates from would sign the caller ID.  This should allow consumers with the added protection from caller ID spoofing as this verifies the caller ID.