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Phone companies required to stop scam calls in Canada

The CRTC is requiring phone companies like Bell and Rogers to block scam callers across Canada. The policy takes effect today, Dec. 19, 2019.
Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is attempting to provide Canadians with a call blocking system. As of today, telecommunications service providers will have to implement the system in order to protect Canadians from illegitimate callers.

According to the CRTC, caller ID numbers with 16 or more digits and some other unusual numbers will now be blocked by the service provider before making it to the recipient. An example is a number like 000-000-0000.

Some providers have their own call filtering service that is already more advanced. These companies will not have to implement the new service.

In a recent news release, chairperson and CEO of the CRTC, Ian Scott noted, “Canadians need to have the right tools to manage nuisance calls. With the implementation of a call blocking system, calls that are malformed will be stopped within the network.”

He added, “At the same time, we are working with the industry on other tools to better protect Canadians from nuisance calls, including a process to alert them when the caller ID has been spoofed.”

Though the service is meant to protect consumers from unsolicited calls it will not be very effective in stopping scam calls that come from legitimate numbers.

Bell and Rogers are among the providers that will begin implementing the services.

The president of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, Robert Ghiz told CBC News, “There are always scammers trying to find new ways to infiltrate and take advantage of consumers out there.”

He also noted, “There’s always scammers trying to find new ways to infiltrate and take advantage of consumers out there. There’s always going to be new mechanisms that we’re going to have to put in place to deal with these things.”

Ghiz said that one way to combat illegitimate calls is to ask if there is a number you can call back at to reach the person again. You can also end the call and try calling the same number back.

Senior intelligence analyst at the Canadian anti-fraud centre told CBC, “It will have an impact on some of the fraud operations out there,” he added, “but how much remains to be seen.”

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