November 29, 2022

Robocall & Text Spam Mitigation Template

Robocall & Text Spam Mitigation Template

According to RoboKiller estimates, people in the United States received approximately six billion robocalls in October 2022 alone. Another source indicated that robocalls made up a stunning 60% of all calls made during 2021.

Thankfully, this is an issue the federal government has taken notice of. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that these types of unwanted calls have been the top complaint among consumers in the country. They're more than just irritating — the scams perpetrated cost Americans billions every year in losses.

The Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD) in an effort to encourage voice service providers to do their part to cut down on phone scams and track their progress in implementing the framework. Under the TRACED Act and similar legislation, voice service providers must now register with the RMD — a way for all involved to show that they're doing their part to address this issue head-on. Registering with the database is only possible after having taken “specific, actionable steps” to stop robocalls from the source.

As of 2022, all calls with United States-based North American Numbering Plan (NANP) calling numbers from any provider that has not registered with the Robocall Mitigation Database must be blocked — end of story. STIR/SHAKEN compliance actually depends on it: this is something that applies to every call that originates with an NANP calling number. Additionally, Robocall Mitigation Certification must be filed with the FCC and all United States-based NANP calling numbers from those providers who have not been previously certified must be blocked no matter what.

All of this leads to the topic of a robocall mitigation plan, a viable series of steps that providers can follow to not only show that they're taking the spam call problem seriously, but also to put an end to robocalls on their network. If yours is an organization that is in the process of instituting an RMP, there are a number of important things you'll want to keep in mind.

What is a robocall mitigation plan?

As the name implies, a robocall mitigation plan (also commonly referred to as an RMP for short) is one that helps to prevent illegal and otherwise annoying robocalls. Keep in mind that while there are steps that consumers can take to help address this issue (like registering for the "Do Not Call" list or downloading the RoboKiller app), they only have so much power in this situation. As a voice provider or carrier, it’s within your power to make a meaningful impact in stopping these calls from originating on your network to begin with.

An RMP may involve several techniques. These include but are not limited to:

  • Blocklists: A blocklist is a database of phone numbers that are known to have originated spam calls. While this is not necessarily the "silver bullet" that some might hope it to be, it is an excellent start to prevent calls from these numbers from passing through your network.
  • Caller ID analysis: All callers may be assigned a reputation, whether it be positive, negative, or neutral, based on their calling patterns and history. This information can be invaluable in terms of stopping both incoming and outgoing calls from callers with known negative reputations.
  • Dynamic traffic analysis: There are software platforms available that analyze traffic patterns to help shed more light on both calls and callers, in the process weeding out potentially illegal robocalls.
  • Call screening: This is a feature of most networks and cellular devices that helps to give people more information about who is calling them and why, all before they pick up the phone.
  • Caller ID lookup: This is another way to give people more information about who is behind a particular number, including where the call is originating from and any other identifying information that may be attached to it and publicly available.

In the end, it will take a combination of all of the above methods to help address the problem in an adequate manner. Likewise, this is not something that voice providers can do once and forget about. It will take a long-term, proactive approach to help put a stop to these types of nuisance calls, both now and in the future.

What is required to be included in my RMP?

In the most straightforward way possible, the elements that are to be included in your robocall mitigation plan include a detailed outline of those steps that you take to determine whether a call is good, bad, illegal, or indifferent. Doing so will require the use of many, if not all, of the techniques outlined in the previous section.

Voice service providers must outline how they are determining not only a call's status but also which techniques they’re using to validate it. By doing their homework on who they’re letting into their network, voice service providers make it so that their attestations can be relied on by others. Ultimately, if all providers do their due diligence and work as a collective, it helps prevent end users from unwanted robocalls.

The success of an RMP depends on the technological measures that have been put in place to help achieve the desired end result of stopping robocalls at the source. If a robocaller initiates a call using a spoofed telephone number, for example, it must be checked against a pre-existing "Do Not Originate" list. The same is true with an unallocated call or invalid number. Regardless, voice service providers must attempt to identify the call as being illegal in nature and block it at the originating switch.

Another example would be the use of reputation scoring to determine whether a call likely was executed with malicious intent. At this point, the call can be blocked. Not only should the techniques used to arrive at this conclusion be included in your robocall mitigation plan, but the technology itself needs to be noted as well.

When developing a robocall mitigation plan, be sure to include a breakdown of the precise steps you’re using to reduce unwanted calls, whatever they may be. Also include information about contractual terms. For example:

  • What will happen to a caller that is engaged in illicit activity as per the agreement of their original contract?
  • What steps are being taken to ensure sufficient network monitoring?
  • What policies are in place to find, address, and ultimately prevent robocalls?

How do I know if my plan is deemed acceptable by the FCC?

Voice service providers are legally obligated to institute a robocall mitigation plan under the TRACED act. This means that all providers must register with the Robocall Mitigation Database — something they can only do after they’ve fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN or have instituted a satisfactory RMP.

To put it succinctly, this means that any provider needs to do one (or both) of the following:

  • Implement a robocall mitigation plan like the one outlined above, or
  • Show that they have taken all the steps required to comply with the STIR/SHAKEN framework.

If you’ve already completed one or both of those steps, then your robocall mitigation plan is deemed acceptable by the FCC. If neither of these two items apply to you, you’ll need to enact them at an organizational level as soon as possible.

What else should I know about a robocall mitigation plan?

It's important to understand that the chasm between having a robocall mitigation plan and having a good robocall mitigation plan is a deep one, indeed. The FCC has said that a plan is considered sufficient if it complies with all of the best practices outlined on their website, and if the voice services provider is proven to adhere to all standard industry trace back protocols.

But more than anything, you need to be aware of the potential consequences of not having an RMP, which likely means that you're not registered in the Robocall Mitigation Database, either.

As per the FCC, there are a number of penalties that you could see should the aforementioned appropriate steps not be taken. These include things like:

  • The FCC could fine any voice services provider that has not already taken the appropriate registration steps.
  • Other providers might not accept any call traffic that originates from a voice service provider that hasn't developed an RMP, which could significantly harm the quality of the experience that you're able to offer to customers.
  • The FCC could order all other providers not to accept any calls from your business.

All of this to say, coming up with such a plan is crucial — not just because it's the right thing to do but also because the consequences of not making one are significant. Developing a robocall mitigation plan may be the foundation upon which the future success of your business is built.

How RoboKiller Enterprise can help build your RMP

At its core, RoboKiller Enterprise is a solution built with a brighter future in mind — one in which robocalls and illegal spam calls are a thing of the past.

It sits atop a state-of-the-art API that is powered by not only artificial intelligence and machine learning, but key features such as blocklists, call screening, real-world feedback from millions of customers, and more. It's a best-in-class suite of technologies that has proven to block 99% of all unwanted calls before they reach their destination. What’s more, RoboKiller Enterprise is scalable for any call volume, no matter the size of your network.

In the end, robocalls harm both call recipients and the voice service providers they put their trust in to keep them safe from illegal and unwanted messages. People don't want to wade through volumes of unwanted calls on a regular basis. If one of those calls were to slip through, it could potentially lead to someone falling victim to a scam that could cost them dearly. RoboKiller Enterprise aims to put a stop to precisely that.

If you'd like to find out more information about putting together a viable robocall and robotext mitigation template, or if you just have any additional questions about blocking phone spam on business lines, contact us today.

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