The Problem - Robocalls
Robocalls are automated phone calls generated by an auto-dialer and, typically, play a pre-recorded message. Fraudsters and spammers tend to use Robocalls in combination with Caller ID spoofing to mask the actual number they are calling from by replacing it with a number that appears to be originating from a legitimate source such as a business or a locally recognizable number.
What is SHAKEN/STIR?
SHAKEN/STIR is a suite of protocols and procedures intended to combat spoofed Robocalls by using authenticated Caller ID.
SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information using toKENs) is a specification designed to implement the STIR (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) protocol, which ensures carrier interoperability to enable end-to-end call authentication. This means that calls from Providers, such as Talkdesk, will need to be signed with a digital certificate to verify the authenticity of the originating caller.
After years of development, a clear mandate was set forth by government regulators in the United States and Canada for telephony carriers to implement SHAKEN/STIR.
There are three possible levels of verification (often referred to as attestation):
- A or Full Attestation. Indicates that the provider recognizes the entire phone number as being registered with the originating subscriber.
- B or Partial Attestation. Indicates that the call originated with a known customer, but customer ownership of the number cannot be verified.
- C or Gateway Attestation. Indicates the call can only be verified as coming from a known gateway, for instance, a connection to another service provider.
Talkdesk® is implementing SHAKEN/STIR in compliance with FCC and CRTC.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated that all carriers in the United States implement SHAKEN/STIR by June 30, 2021, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has mandated that all carriers in Canada have it implemented by November 30, 2021.
Impact on Calls
Recipients of a call verified through SHAKEN/STIR may be presented differently, based on the call’s verification level. This varies based on the recipient’s device and service provider.
- Calls that are fully verified (Full Attestation or A) may be accompanied by a “Verified” qualifier and/or a visual qualifier, such as a green check mark in the caller ID.
- Calls that are partially verified (Partial Attestation or B) may be accompanied by a “Unknown caller” or “Spam risk” qualifier in the caller ID.
- Calls that cannot be verified (Gateway Attestation or C) may be accompanied by a “Unknown caller” or “Known spam caller” qualifier in the caller ID.
Talkdesk has been working closely with its provider partners to implement SHAKEN/STIR and ensure compliance with the FCC and CRTC mandates. All purchased Talkdesk numbers associated with a customer’s account are automatically partially verified (B) without requiring any additional action from the customer. This applies to all numbers that have already been purchased or that are newly purchased.
Getting Full Attestation (A)
In order to obtain Full Attestation (A) you will need to submit information about your business as well as nominate one or two representatives. This information must be submitted and will then be verified in order to create a business profile. After verification, all US and Canada based phone numbers in your account will be associated with your business profile. The process usually takes between 24h to 48h and, once completed, will allow all phone calls made from your account’s US/Canada-based phone numbers, or any newly purchased phone numbers, to be signed with full attestation.
To register, you’ll need to collect the necessary information about your business and representatives. Please download the business profile spreadsheet (at the bottom of this page) and submit this information by opening a case with Talkdesk Support. We will take the steps to register the business profile as well as associate the corresponding phone numbers to it.
Will calls be blocked after the 30th of June?
The 30th of June 2021 dictates when carriers in the US need to have calls classified per the SHAKEN/STIR protocols. Calls won’t be blocked if they are classified as B or C. As this protocol is new, it still needs to be fully adopted and incorporated into the various systems. At some point in the future, automated systems may make decisions based on the attestation level of the call and potentially block them, but not from the start as this is rolled out.
What will happen to calls that don’t have full attestation?
This will depend on the device or system receiving the phone call. For example, with Android phones, some of them may show a green checkmark badge saying “Verified Caller” when the call is classified as Full Attestation (A). As this becomes more popular, services that verify caller IDs of calls will start adopting this as yet another parameter, and may start classifying calls with lower attestation values as potentially spam.
How does this impact Verified Caller IDs?
Verified Caller IDs can be used during a phone number porting process, or when a customer has a phone number on a separate carrier that cannot be integrated within Talkdesk.
For the time being, full attestation for Verified Caller IDs is not possible. The highest classification for those calls will be partial attestation (B).