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New Tools Implemented to Protect Customers from Robocalls

June 28, 2021

Skt News Article June 2021 Featured Image Fcc Traced Act

What, exactly, is a robocall?  It’s “a telephone call placed to large numbers of people by a computerized device that automatically dials the telephone numbers and plays a recorded message.” They’re annoying. In fact, robocalls are the top consumer complaint reported to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) annually. That’s the bad news. But we do have some good news for our landline phone subscribers.

As directed by Congress, the FCC has enacted the TRACED (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) Act which provides new tools to fight unwanted, often illegal, robocalls.

The first, Robocall Mitigation, has been fully implemented by SKT. It works for both outgoing and incoming calls, making sure that no robocalls originate on SKT’s network, and stopping incoming robocalls to our customers. The way it works is robocalls (which could be scammers, spammers, spoofers, telemarketers, etc.) are given a number score based upon the telephone number/company reputation and algorithms – with +4 scores being “excellent” to -4 scores being “worst.” Within the first 10 days of implementation, all calls with a -4 score received a fast-busy signal, effectively blocking more than 15,000 calls placed to SKT customers.

The second, STIR/SHAKEN, enables phone companies to verify that the caller ID information transmitted with a call matches the caller’s real phone number. If they don’t match, that’s a red flag for scam calls. A rollout schedule for that program is to be determined, awaiting guidance from the FCC.

Although all unwanted calls may not be blocked, it’s exciting to know that SKT and other communications companies are making progress in the fight against robocalls. And, these protections will get even better – “learning” what is and isn’t a robocall – as time goes on.

As always, to further reduce the number of unwanted sales calls, customers may add their number for free to the National Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov or by calling 888.382.1222 from the phone they want to register (TTY: 866.290.4236). Although the Do Not Call Registry prohibits sales calls, other types of calls such as political, charitable, debt collection, informational, and telephone surveys may still be received.

Please call SKT Customer Service at 888.758.8976 if you have any questions or concerns.