Verizon is now exchanging STIR/SHAKEN-enabled calls with wireless carriers that collectively represent around 80% of the U.S. wireless industry.
STIR/SHAKEN, an industry-wide effort, helps verify that a call is in fact from the number displayed on the Caller ID and not spoofed. More than 24 million calls a day are currently being exchanged between Verizon and the participating carriers, with that number growing quickly.
So what does this mean for customers? Now, when a call is received from Verizon to one of the participating carriers’ networks, or vice versa, both companies can verify it’s coming from the real phone number – that means less calls being spoofed, giving consumers more confidence that the calls they receive are coming from the number displayed on the Caller ID.
To date, Verizon has protected over 75 million customers from more than ten billion unwanted calls – and counting.
“This latest STIR/SHAKEN milestone is a key part of our overall efforts to combat these unwanted calls,” said Ronan Dunne, EVP and CEO of Verizon Consumer Group. “There is always more to be done, but this is yet another important step for the industry and customers should rest assured that we remain vigilant in our efforts to take down the bad guys and protect them.”
Commitment to customers
Like other carriers, Verizon has seen a significant increase in robocall traffic since initial pandemic lockdown restrictions were lifted last year. We took action on the offenders and reduced their traffic dramatically, resulting in a reduction of between 250M – 500M calls to Verizon per month since the end of 2020.
How do we do this?
Verizon supports robust traceback efforts via USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group (ITG) to identify where the robocalls are coming from, and we require our wholesale customers to participate fully in industry traceback efforts.
We have also created lines across our network — called “Honeypots” — to identify and observe illegal robocall campaigns, and work with ITG and other carriers to trace them back to the source and notify law enforcement.
We have expanded these numbers in every U.S. state, which has helped punish those who would seek to profit from fraudulent or illegal robocall scams. In fact, to date in 2021, we have captured more than 200,000 Honeypot hits across wireless and toll-free numbers.
What can customers do?
Verizon’s wireless customers on most eligible devices can block or avoid many of these robocalls at no cost thanks to Call Filter.
While Call Filter auto blocks high risk (Potential Fraud) calls, users may choose to block all spam risk levels, or keep them from going to voice mail in order to silence spam callers from reaching their device, with just a few taps on the free Call Filter app or by going to My Verizon for those on iOS devices.
In addition to the free spam protection features of Verizon’s Call Filter app, which is preloaded on most Verizon Android devices and available on the Apple App store, postpaid customers can upgrade to Call Filter Plus for $2.99 per month. That version of the app offers additional features, including:
Caller Name ID
Personal Block List
Spam Risk Meter