Spam Calls & Texts on the Rise
Your cell phone rings and displays a number that looks familiar. You mute the television and answer. “This is your credit card provider. Your account has been reported as fraud…” says the creepy robotic voice. You roll your eyes and return to the nightly news. Unfortunately, it won’t just happen once.
From offers to purchase your home to arrest threats if you don’t pay your overdue taxes, robocalls are no longer just an annoyance. They cost Americans $325 million dollars in 2021 alone, and robocalls are the top consumer complaint reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) annually. After years of study and consultation with communications companies, the federal government passed a law in 2019 aimed at combating this problem.
The TRACED (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) Act
Gave the FCC new tools to fight unwanted, and often illegal, robocalls. One major attempt to control robocalls required major wireless carriers to start using Stir/Shaken technology. Stir/Shaken verifies all incoming and outgoing calls for wireless carriers routed through their networks. As each call is verified, carriers can reduce the number of fake or spoofed calls.
The Stir/Shaken Technology Did Have a Positive Effect
The United States was the second most spammed population globally in 2020 and fell to the 20th spot in 2021. Unfortunately, spammers found ways to get around this technology with phone calls, and many just increased the number of texts sent to unwitting cell phone users. Americans alone are expected to receive up to 5 billion spam calls in 2022.