Robocalls need no introduction: the name of this type of voice fraud speaks for itself. These automated unsolicited calls have once been received by everyone. There's no way for recipients to identify them as the numbers on the display look legit. The end users pick up their phones to find out they are talking to a machine. Sadly, no matter what anti-spam solution is used, some robocalls always get through.
How does a robocall work?
A robocall delivers an automated or prerecorded voice message. Unless a permission to use a particular number was given, the call is illegal in many countries. In the US, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule forbid companies from using an automated dialer to call or text a phone without your permission. Most illegal calls are also spoofed, meaning that the caller ID is falsified to look familiar to the recipient.
In most cases, scammers buy lists of hundreds of thousands of numbers from brokers. They then feed the numbers into a computer program that operates in a loop, dialing through the list and attaching a spoofed number to each call so that it looks like the call is coming from a local number. This type of software, which is fairly simple technologically, can make as many as a million calls in an hour.
Robocall fraud risk
Telecoms have a clear incentive to prevent robocalls. First of all, annoyed customers may leave for competitors with better protection. However, the damage goes beyond customer retention issues—the robocalls themselves can be very costly to telecoms.
The total cost is enormous—the Communication Fraud Control Association (CFCA) estimates that robocall fraud cost telecom companies $0.9 billion in 2019 alone. The problem is so prevalent that it is the FCC's top consumer complaint in the United States. The national regulators of other countries, such as the UK and Singapore, are also focused on the problem. However, despite their efforts, there are still many small phone companies that are happy to take the robocallers' money and place the fraudulent calls in a phone network.
A new strategy for fraud prevention
One of the key challenges has been that regulators have tried to solve the problem in each specific, isolated jurisdiction. It hasn't worked. Fraudsters are located all over the world and can route calls through numerous locations. There is no way to isolate the problem, or the solution. The only way to deal with it effectively is through international cooperation.
AB Handshake was created to provide a comprehensive solution to robocall fraud risk using global call validation. Rather than each company and/or regulator pouring resources into fraud protection systems based on sampling, patterns or statistics, AB Handshake has built a community of businesses that work together, using a common 'handshake' to validate each and every call from both ends. The solution is integrated into a company's network using the default functionality of the existing equipment and standard protocols—no special hardware or infrastructure is needed.
The solution is simple. A fraudster generates a robocall using a spoofed CLI. The terminating operator receives the call and reaches out directly to the owner of the spoofed range but does not get verification. The call is automatically identified as fraudulent and blocked in real time, before it can harass customers or rack up costs to telecom companies. It's foolproof — there's no way spoofed robocalls can get through.
Illegal robocalls are detrimental to both customers and the telecoms that provide their service.
By joining the international AB Handshake community, you can help put an end to robocall fraud.