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How Phone Companies Finally Verify Numbers



  Scam Probably reporting on T-Mobile-connected smartphone

Robocalls is a torment and leaves many people unwilling or afraid to retrieve their phone if they do not know the caller. If you wait for a job interview or support callback, it is incredibly stressful, but now mobile operators are helping.

New standards will disable spoofing

If you have T-Mobile service and a Galaxy S9, soon you will start seeing "Caller Verified" when calls arrive, if T-Mobile can verify the caller's ID matches the real phone number . Caller Verified Message means that the call originates from T-Mobile and they can confirm that no spoofing or interception occurred during the call.

Verifying calls depend on a new standard called STIR (Secure Phone Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (SHAKEN Signature-based management of specified information using toKENs). In order not to be confused with martini guidance, STIR / SHAKEN may allow mobile operators to determine if the number a call is identified with is real. Current dialing ID technology lacks any method for determining whether the information is correct and the STIR / SHAKEN will solve that problem.

And when other carriers implement the STIR / SHAKEN, they will work together so that verification of telephone calls is done evenly when they come from another operator.

In addition, T-Mobile, Verizon and other already offer blocking services that rely on crowdsourced blacklists. The Robocaller block has been free at AT & T since 201

6, free at T-Mobile since the beginning of 2017, and now Verizon has announced that they no longer charge for call filtering from next March.

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You may already have some spam blocking

Crowdsource-based spam locker software is already ubiquitous and the chance is that you can either subscribe to it from your carrier or download an app to your phone that will reach But the new STIR / SHAKEN standard will take longer to complete fully.

If you have T-Mobile and a Galaxy S9 you have the first stages of the technology right now and "more units" will get STIR / SHAKEN 2019 Meanwhile, Verizon and AT & T have promised to implement, but not specified, an exact timeline beyond 2019. Sprint has not made any such promises and llde issue of cost and efficiency.

Apple, Google and other phone manufacturers have not commented on any plans to help with the implementation of the standard. Microsoft supports SHAKEN / STIR and helped develop. While they are no longer working on Windows Phone, they have an interest in Skype.

STIR / SHAKEN is similar to HTTPS

With STIR / SHAKEN in place, when a telephone call is made the first thing it will do attaches a certificate that verifies the number assigned to the signal. When it is in agreement, it checks the certificate against an encrypted repository for validity. If everything matches correctly, the service marks the call as verified. When it is not, the carrier knows that the number is potentially spoofing.

What the carriers do next is their decision. They can mark the call as verified when appropriate, or display a possible scam or block the call.

If this sounds familiar, it is because the process is similar to how secure certificates work on browsers. This also shows a significant disadvantage. Just as a security certificate does not mean that a site is secure, a verified dialing message does not indicate that the phone call is a robo caller.

If the robo caller calls from a legitimate number that they purchased without any spoofing, then the Call is displayed as verified. Hopefully, crowdsourced listings and blocking will finally become useful at this time, as robocalls not only change their number with each call.

  Close up of a man using mobile smartphone
Kostenko Maxim / Shutterstock

How to block Spam calls right now

If you're not using a Galaxy S9 on T-Mobile and you don't want to Wait for Verizon to offer its services, there are options you can use today. You can subscribe to Verin's phone call service until Verizon does it for free.

You can join the list of non-calls for what it's worth, which doesn't seem to be much today and block numbers individually. On iPhones, you can download an app like Hiya as crowdsources blacklists to identify scammers, which you can then either flag or block. On Android you have built-in options, and you can also use a similar app like Mr.Number or Truecaller.

These black source list publications can block legitimate calls, unfortunately, so remember if you often receive calls from unknown numbers.

This is just a measure of peace

Unfortunately, true freedom from spam calls is entirely dependent on the carriers to solve the problem. So far, they have been more than willing to make these calls, placing the debt on other and existing laws.

The FCC called them out, and it made a difference. But until the cost of making scam calls is higher than the profits derived from them, junk mail will continue to try and hope you answer. Until better solutions arrive, the best thing you can do is ignore the calls.


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