November 12, 2021

What is a Robocall Mitigation Program?

What is a Robocall Mitigation Program?

Alexander Graham Bell placed the first ever phone call on March 10, 1876. Legend has it, moments later he found out his car warranty had expired.

Of course, the above is not a true historical account but rather a humorous take on a salient subject. The fact is, phone scams like the infamous car warranty scam are a part of everyday life. And while they may make a good punchline, they also carry real-world consequences for those on the receiving end.

To place the problem in context, consider that the average robocall scam costs the victim $1,200, and nearly 2 in 5 Americans would have difficulty paying an unexpected $400 expense. In other words, a significant portion of the population faces serious financial hardship in the event they get scammed just once.

But it’s not just consumers who scammers are targeting: it’s also businesses like yours. Scammers have eroded trust in phone calls to such a degree that now 8 in 10 Americans don’t even bother to pick up the phone when they don’t recognize who’s calling — a figure high enough to make any salesperson sweat.

All the while, brand impersonators are pretending to be company representatives and duping customers into sending them money. In doing so, these scammers are further damaging public confidence in corporations at a time when brand trust is already at an all-time low.

On top of it all, scammers who hack corporate networks cause significant financial harm. According to technology research company Gartner, network downtime costs companies $5,600 per minute, or over $300,000 per hour.

All this to say, stopping phone spam is in everyone’s interest (aside from the scammers). 

The good news is, you have recourse. One option is to implement a robocall mitigation program with the help of RoboKiller Enterprise.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is a robocall mitigation program?

A robocall mitigation program, or RMP for short, is a plan to prevent unlawful robocalls from originating on a carrier’s voice network. RMPs come in many forms, and RoboKiller Enterprise has several tools that can help.

Blocklists

A blocklist is a collection of phone numbers that have originated spam calls. Calls to and from a number on the blocklist get blocked automatically. RoboKiller’s global list of scammers includes 600 million numbers and counting.

Although blocklists are an essential robocall mitigation tool, they’re not an all-encompassing solution. That’s because phone numbers change possession frequently and scammers have little trouble getting their hands on batches of seemingly legitimate numbers. For these reasons, RoboKiller Enterprise takes things a step further with audio fingerprinting (more on this below).

Caller ID reputation 

Caller ID reputation, as the name suggests, seeks to attribute a reputation (positive, neutral, or negative) to any given phone number. This helps inform decision-making about whether to pick up incoming calls or place outgoing calls.

RoboKiller Enterprise utilizes real-time customer feedback to assess caller ID reputations. The greater the amount of feedback, the more precise the reputation score.

Dynamic traffic analysis

Dynamic traffic analysis is the process of analyzing call data to identify patterns in calls and callers. For instance, a number with a high answer rate but short average call duration is likely to be operated by scammers.

Due to the sheer mass of metadata analyzed, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are crucial to effective dynamic traffic analysis. Therefore, it’s more cost-effective and efficient to buy rather than build your own solution.

Call screening

Call screening is designed to let call recipients know who’s calling and why before they pick up. One common call screening mechanism is a CAPTCHA gateway, which prompts the caller to answer a question and only proceeds if the caller answers the prompt correctly. This line of defense prevents autodialers from reaching their intended recipient.

Because scammers strive to reach as many people as they can in as little time as possible, call screening offers the added benefit of slowing them down and thus limiting the number of targets they can reach.

Caller ID lookup

Caller ID lookup allows you to get details about a particular number. RoboKiller Enterprise provides insights into the identities behind them, so you can make better informed decisions.

Is a robocall mitigation program mandatory?

Voice service providers (VSPs) have a legal obligation under the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act to take action to stop robocalls. Per the FCC...

“As of April 20, 2021, the FCC requires that all providers certify in the Robocall Mitigation Database that they have fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN or have instituted a robocall mitigation program to ensure that they are not originating illegal robocalls… Filings in the Robocall Mitigation Database are due June 30, 2021.”

That means doing one of the following:

  1. Implementing a robocall mitigation program
  2. Complying with the FCC’s STIR/SHAKEN framework
  3. Both

STIR/SHAKEN (pictured below) is short for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited/Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs. It’s a connected body of standards put forth by the FCC to help end robocalls on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks.

The deadline for large carriers (100,000 subscriber lines or more) to comply with STIR/SHAKEN was June 30, 2021. Smaller carriers have until mid-2023 (update: now mid-2022) to follow suit.

Should VSPs implement STIR/SHAKEN and a robocall mitigation program?

One of the major problems carriers are facing is caller ID spoofing, in which when callers deliberately fudge their caller IDs to disguise their identity and scam people.

STIR/SHAKEN was designed to stop spoofed spam calls, but it’s yet to make significant progress to that end. In fact, after an initial decrease in spoofed spam calls in July 2021 (the first month following the deadline to implement), spoofed spam calls increased month-over-month through the time of this writing. That includes a staggering 15% increase from September to October.

One issue is implementation, or lack thereof. Just 16 of the 49 largest phone companies nationwide (those that serve 1 million people or move) reported to the FCC that they had completed STIR/SHAKEN as of September 2021.

Even so, it’s unlikely STIR/SHAKEN will solve the spam crisis on its own even when it’s fully implemented. As a carrier, it’s in your interest to protect your network as best as you can by supplementing STIR/SHAKEN with a comprehensive robocall mitigation program. When you choose RoboKiller Enterprise as your partner in that effort, you get a unique advantage…

Audio fingerprinting

RoboKiller championed audio fingerprinting as a spam defense tool. Audio fingerprinting is the process of digitally condensing audio signals so that they can be used to identify similar or identical signals in an audio database. 

Every call RoboKiller intercepts has a unique audio fingerprint. When someone places a call, RoboKiller fingerprints it to determine whether it matches any digital fingerprints in our ever-expanding database. If it does, the call is marked as spam and never reaches the recipient.

Because audio fingerprinting examines the audio within a call rather than just the phone number it originated from, it’s resistant to caller ID spoofing.

Should non-carrier businesses implement an RMP?

If you’re not a voice service provider, STIR/SHAKEN isn’t something you have to worry about — at least not directly. FCC compliance may not be your concern, but putting an end to robocalls is.

STIR/SHAKEN, as we’ve illustrated, is imperfect and robocalls aren’t likely to disappear anytime soon. Even if you’re not required to participate in FCC compliance efforts, it’s in your interest to protect your customers. Here’s why:

  • 84% of businesses get at least one robocall per day, at an average cost of $9.46 per call
  • 54% of businesses get at least 5 robocalls per day
  • 76% of business owners and managers feel obligated to pick up the phone regardless because they don’t want to risk missing a customer call

So, while you certainly didn’t create the problem, as a business owner you did inherit it. The question is, why spend time and resources dealing with spam and struggling to connect with prospects when you don’t have to?

RoboKiller Enterprise affords you the opportunity to take protecting your customers into your own hands.

Why Robokiller Enterprise?

STIR/SHAKEN compliance is critical, but it’s not the end-all-be-all of stopping robocalls. Whether you’re already FCC-compliant and want to shore up your defense or you’re just looking to run your business without annoying spam interruptions, RoboKiller Enterprise can help. 

Our cutting-edge API is powered by AI, ML, blocklists, call screening, and real-world feedback from millions of calls. Your organization can leverage our data-rich offering to analyze any phone number, and it’s easily integrated with PBX, CPaaS, UCaaS, and more. Try it free for 15 days.

So, why us?

  • Our award-winning, best-in-class robocall elimination technology blocks 99% of unwanted calls
  • We pioneered the use of AI, ML, and audio fingerprinting to stop spam
  • We collect and analyze robust data in a growing database of over 600 million numbers
  • Our AI-powered Command Center delivers highly-accurate decision data in <0.01 second
  • We apply real-time feedback to keep everyone safe from spam
  • Our robocall mitigation solutions are comprehensive and scalable for any call volume

Don’t spend time and money building a robocall mitigation program that’s not guaranteed to work. Instead, rely on our proven technologies to keep your enterprise safe.

Ready to learn more? Head over to our website and sign up for your free 15-day trial.

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