spam calls canada

Canada is getting some nifty new tech to block spam phone calls

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is stepping up its game in the fight against phone scams, which have been growing in both volume and severity across the country as of late.

CRTC officials announced Monday that the regulator would be implementing a new framework meant to combat caller ID spoofing, in particular, by September 30, 2020.

Called STIR/SHAKEN, the new technology is described as "essentially a digital fingerprint for telephone calls."

"When a call between participating providers is transmitted without that digital fingerprint, the receiving phone company will know that the caller ID information is spoofed and can act to protect its customer from scams," reads a joint statement from CRTC Chairperson Ian Scott and his American counterpart, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

This is in addition to the CRTC's recent mandate that all major telecom providers implement a certain type of call blocking technology by December 19 of this year.

Canada's Big 3 will no doubt start blocking calls with "misformed ID numbers" in just a few weeks to stay on the right side of the law, but regulators say much more must be done to stop fraudsters from targeting vulnerable citizens (like seniors) by telephone.

"Nuisance calls are a major irritant for many Canadians. We are committed to addressing this issue and are working with the industry and our partners to better protect consumers," said Scott on Monday.

"The new STIR/SHAKEN framework will enable Canadians to know, before they answer the phone, whether a call is legitimate or whether it should be treated with suspicion."

Meanwhile, the CRTC continues to work with telecom industry specialists to "trace nuisance calls back to their points of origin."

Once the technology to make that possible is in place, the real cracking down can begin. ​​​

Lead photo by

Stefan Stefancik

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