Robocalls annually scam one in 10 Americans, to a loss of $9.5 billion

Computerized auto dialers deliver pre-recorded phone calls with 60 billion expected in 2019 alone. Here’s how to handle robocalls.

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We don’t answer mobile phone calls from numbers we don’t recognize. Why? Because if you live in the US, you are very likely to be on a robocaller’s list, and that unknown call is one of the 60 billion robocalls this year. An astonishing one in 10 Americans are scammed annually as a result of robocalls, to the yearly cost of a whopping $9.5 billion.

“Robocalls increased by 46% from 2017 to 2018,” and numbers will increase this year, said Lily Lowe, tech specialist at All Home Connections (AHC), an authorized AT&T retailer. The massive influx of those 60 billion robocalls, and the resulting financial loss, were instrumental in the development of programs to recognize the difference between valid and invalid calls. 

And phone carriers have recognized the plague of robocalling or spoofing.

Last summer, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) announced and led the push for a new system  to combat spoofing (illegal caller ID), Caller ID authentication. The industry worked to implement the program, which has been referred to as SHAKEN/STIR, and is a framework of interconnected standards. SHAKEN/STIR are acronyms for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) standards.  Through SHAKEN/STIR carriers digitally validate calls from other carriers before the call reaches consumers.

The goal of SHAKEN/STIR establishes “a reliable authentication system to strengthen call-blocking services and unmask spoofed calls,” reported the FCC. The carriers involved from the start were AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox,…