STIR/SHAKEN: How we drastically reduce robocalls

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Highlights:

  • From disruptions to packed voicemails, robocalls have a huge impact on a business’s productivity and bottom line. But businesses can’t simply ignore calls from unrecognized numbers.
  • RingCentral has implemented STIR/SHAKEN, a new protocol that screens phone numbers before they reach employee phones.
  • If a call is spam, the caller ID will read “SUSPECTED ROBOCALL”.
  • After September 25, 2021, RingCentral will only transfer calls to carriers that are STIR/SHAKEN compliant.

 

It’s not your imagination—spam and robocalls are more prevalent today than ever. By the end of 2020, spam calls were up more than 20% year-over-year from 2019, with users worldwide receiving 31.1 billion spam calls over a 10-month period.

And when left unchecked, they can be pretty damaging to businesses. Spam calls not only increase the liability of getting scammed but also take valuable time away from real callers and disrupt the flow of work for employees. Ever find your concentration interrupted by your phone ringing, only to have it be spam?

 


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It’s reached a tipping point. 94% of Americans simply don’t answer the phone anymore when they don’t recognize the number. 

There’s just one problem: businesses can’t afford to ignore calls. That’s because among the relentless barrage of robocalls, some calls are actually legitimate. From appointment reminders to customer inquiries and spontaneous calls from a colleague, ignoring calls can cost businesses millions.

 

What is STIR/SHAKEN?

How many times have you accidentally answered an unwanted phone call because the caller ID information looked familiar—only to discover that the area code and phone number displayed were spoofed? New FCC rules, which went into effect June 30, 2021, are intended to prevent this precise scenario.

Part of the TRACED Act, the new requirements entail a set of technical standards and protocols—called STIR/SHAKEN—for authenticating caller ID information. 

STIR/SHAKEN is a new set of protocols that provide a way for voice service providers to “sign” caller ID as legitimate on outbound calls and to identify inbound calls that have a spoofed caller ID. Together, these processes enable phone providers to “attest” to where calls are coming from and to “authenticate” those signatures to let the call recipient know when a call has been verified.

There are three levels of attestation:

  • A-level attestation: The service provider has verified both the origination of a call and that the user/extension number is authorized to use the number.
  • B-level attestation: The service provider has authenticated the call origination but cannot verify that the caller is authorized to use the calling number.
  • C-Level attestation: The service provider has originated the call on the network but cannot authenticate the call source.

We’re excited to announce that RingCentral has fully implemented the STIR/SHAKEN protocol and has filed its certification of compliance with the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database. Our system both signs all calls that originate on the RingCentral network and verifies STIR/SHAKEN headers on all inbound calls. 

 

What does this mean for you?

For inbound calls, the STIR/SHAKEN protocol means you’ll be able to determine whether the inbound phone number has been authenticated before answering. If it’s not, your phone will show “Suspected Robocall” as the caller ID.

For outbound calls, you don’t have to do anything to ensure that your calls are compliant and appropriately signed. We handle all of that for you.

RingCentral has already completed its implementation of STIR/SHAKEN and filed its certification of STIR/SHAKEN compliance in the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database. That means RingCentral MVP customers will not see any change in the ways their calls are routed or completed, and there’s no action required for all calls to be attested. Similarly, there will be no changes for users calling from the RingCentral app to another RingCentral user. 

However, it’s important to note that incoming calls made via a carrier that has not fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN may not be verified, even if a call is legitimate. After September 28, 2021, RingCentral will only transfer calls to providers who have filed certifications of STIR/SHAKEN compliance with the FCC. 

 

Enabling seamless, compliant phone calls

As the new rules go into effect, RingCentral users can rest assured that we are fully compliant with the STIR/SHAKEN regulation. We’re taking all the necessary steps to reduce robocalls and ensure that customers have the tools they need to identify the calls they wish to answer. 

Originally published Jul 09, 2021, updated Apr 01, 2022

RingCentral attacks robocalls with STIR/SHAKEN

Learn more about how STIR/SHAKEN, along with our proprietary AI-trained algorithms, root out robocalls before they ever reach employee phones.

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