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


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Tech

Someone made a map of Canada in the style of Super Mario

Strange and unusual custom stamps by Canada Post and how to personalize your own

Uber and Lyft almost shut down in California and here's why Canada could be next

Canadians are getting super creepy phone calls telling them to stay home

Here's what you need to know about the new COVID alert app in Canada

Data plans in Canada are still among the most expensive in the world

Tech company says Trump's immigration ban might force them to move to Canada

The U.S. says it might ban TikTok and now Canadians are worried