Spam calling is rampant in the United States. American citizens are inundated with over 175 million robocalls every day. It’s gotten so annoying that 90% of people refuse to pick up for unknown callers. The problem is more than annoyance: phone scams cost Americans $10 billion in 2020 alone.
The problems at the receiving end of spam calls are well known. Less talked about are the issues spam callers cause legitimate businesses. When a scammer spoofs the number of a real business, it destroys their number’s integrity. Since spoofing is currently so difficult to trace, cases are near impossible to police. Additionally, the algorithms established by phone carriers to fight spam often catch reputable businesses in their net. Thousands of business calls get incorrectly flagged as spam every day. The algorithm employed by carriers watches for high call volumes, customer complaints, and lead blocking to determine which calls are spam. All of these criteria can be and have been wrongly applied to perfectly acceptable business operations.
What can be done to restore trust in phone communications? Introducing the STIR/SHAKEN revolution, a new system 15 months in the making. In March 2020, the TRACED Act entered law to mitigate robocalls by regulating voice providers. Following in June 2021, the STIR/SHAKEN system went online to implement caller ID authentication against spoofing and robocalls. All service providers are expected to be on board with the new standards.
How does STIR/SHAKEN change the game? Every time a new outbound call takes place, the phone carrier sends their number to a system for authentication. The authenticating system can assign the call 1 of 3 ratings: full for when the customer and number are both verified, partial for when the customer is verified but not their number, and gateway for when the call’s origin cannot be authenticated. Once a rating has been given, caller ID may show the recipient if a caller is verified or likely spam. The raised attestation levels give higher trust to phone calls that deserve it.
Benefits of the new system are spread across stakeholders. Spoofed numbers can now be traced, consumers know which calls to trust, and legitimate businesses can be “verified” as they carry out their operations. To reduce the risk of being labelled spam even further, there are a few additional steps companies can take in their calling practices. They can mix hot and cold leads to maximize responses, monitor their numbers in use to check for red flags, or even rotate numbers to reduce call volume per number.
Also around to help with sales calls is PhoneBurner, a cloud based power dialer and sales acceleration platform. PhoneBurner fully supports compliance with STIR/SHAKEN and can help a business attain full attestation quickly and easily. Furthermore, the platform requires no complex setup, no upfront fees, and no ongoing contracts, so getting started is easy, fast, and efficient.
It is a new dawn for phone calls. It’s time for people to defeat spam and call with confidence.