I am happy to inform you that the federal government is revving up the war on robocalls.
Robocalls refer to anything that comes to your phone via automated dialing. Which might include legal stuff you want to hear about, like a snow day.
But we’re thinking only of the uninvited ones. Like “Chris from U.S. Autocare” who hung up when I asked how he got my name and number or the recorded voice of an alleged representative from Citibank who warned me about “suspicious activity” on my card that could be rectified only by pressing 1 right away.
Phone companies are now required to install cool new technology that enables them to stop these robocalls from getting through. Unfortunately, when U.S. Public Interest Research Group checked into the 49 largest such businesses, only 16 seemed to have completed the job, as of mid-September.
And even more unfortunately, it looks as if the scammers are finding a new route that makes them even harder to avoid. We’ll get to that in a second.
First — good news! Scam robocalls fell by about 11% from July to August, according to YouMail, a robocall-blocking company that tracks these things.
(Bad news! Thanks to the drop, we got only about 1.4 billion in August.)
One of the Federal Communications Commission’s big new weapons in the war against robocallers is known as STIR/SHAKEN.
Question: What does STIR/SHAKEN stand for?
A) Secure Telephone Identity Revisited and Signature-based Handling of Asserted information…