Canadian Telcos Preparing To Roll Out Universal Network-Level Blocking Of Calls With Invalid Caller IDs

As a result of a CRTC directive that was made almost a year ago, Canadian telcos are preparing to roll out Universal Network-Level Blocking Of Calls With Invalid Caller IDs. What does that mean? Say you got a call with an caller ID of this:

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That is clearly an illegitimate caller ID. Which means it is likely a scam or nuisance call. The CRTC directive requires telcos to block this sort of call at the network level. Meaning that it will never hit your phone, and ideally it should cut down on the number of scam and nuisance calls that you get. Telcos in Canada have until December 19 2019 to roll this out. And I am seeing evidence that this is happening. For example, there’s this tweet from Rogers:

I also expect other Canadian telcos to have similar communications shortly.

So, this all sounds good. But I am going to throw cold water on this. It won’t stop the problem of scam and nuisance calls. I say this because if I look at the call history on my cell phone, not one single call that as a scam or nuisance call came from an invalid number. Instead they came from a spoofed number with a local or toll free area code. By using a spoofed number, it makes you more likely to answer the call. There’s not much that a telco can do about that as far as I know. But if you have an iPhone you can use the silence unknown callers feature to at least stop your phone from ringing. There’s a similar functionality on Android called call rejection, but that varies between Android devices. Thus you should check your user manual to see what this feature is called and how to turn it on. One thing to note whether you are on Team Android or Team iPhone, this feature can cause you to miss a legitimate call because of how they work. Thus in my case I don’t have this feature turned on and I just live with scam and nuisance calls coming to my phone by punting them straight to voice mail. And you don’t get this option on a landline phone which means that there’s nothing that you can do at home to stop scam and nuisance calls from happening.

The bottom line goes something like this. It’s nice to see that steps are being taken to address this issue. But it’s clear that more needs to be done by both the CRTC and Canadian telcos to make our lives a bit more quiet when it comes to receiving scam and nuisance calls. Thus I hope that all parties concerned do what they can to make this a non-issue.

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