After nearly 16 million fraudulent calls were made, the FCC might shut down this telco

After nearly 16 million fraudulent calls were made, the FCC might shut down this telco
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans to stop a phone company called Veriwave Telco from making illegal robocalls.

These calls promoted fake programs promising to erase people's tax debts, claiming to offer a "National Tax Relief Program" and a "Tax Dismissal Program" that don't actually exist. These robocalls were sent in the months before the tax filing season.

Recipients who listened to these calls and spoke to an operator were asked for personal information like their date of birth and Social Security number. It's estimated nearly 16 million of these calls were made, although it's unclear how many Veriwave handled.

Veriwave is an "originating provider" that sends call traffic to other phone companies before reaching users. The Industry Traceback Group (ITG), which works with the FCC, traced back about two dozen calls to Veriwave. Despite being notified and given evidence, Veriwave did not contest or provide proof of permission for these calls, nor did they argue the calls were legal.

The FCC tried to contact Veriwave about their robocall efforts, but the email was undeliverable. They then sent a formal notice, but got no response. On April 4, the FCC told all US phone providers they could block Veriwave's calls. A new order gives Veriwave 14 days to respond and prove they follow the rules. If not, other phone companies must block Veriwave's calls within 30 days.

Veriwave, based in Delaware, said in November 2023 they stopped robocalls using STIR/SHAKEN tech.

STIR/SHAKEN is a technology framework designed to combat illegal robocalls and caller ID spoofing, which are techniques used by scammers to mask their identity and deceive recipients.

  • STIR is short for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited: This part of the framework focuses on authenticating caller ID information. It verifies that the caller ID information displayed on a phone matches the actual caller.
  • SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs): This part involves digitally signing caller ID information to ensure its authenticity. It uses certificates to verify that the caller's identity has not been spoofed or altered.

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