MEF CEO Dario Betti speaks to Chris Drake, CTO of communications infrastructure specialist iconectiv about the USA communications market and how it is responding to the growing threat of telecoms fraud. Chris explains how the US regulator, the FCC, has reacted to robocalls with STIR / SHAKEN , where iconectiv administers SHAKEN, and how they also operates as the Local Number Portability Administrator and the Short Code Registry in the USA.
Asked about the cost of fraud to the comms industry Chris said: “The last study we have is a year old but it quantified the cost at $30 billion annually, which is a frightening statistic, and growing – in the sense that some frauds have grown 6-fold in size from where they were 5 years ago, so its growing exponentially.”
Chris then outlined the four key categories of fraud they see in the market place, giving detailed examples of each: “one is international revenue share fraud (IRSF) this is the most common fraud. This is a fraud where making calls to premium numbers generates charges backwards eventually to the serving carrier of the calling party subscriber, but there is no-one there to pay the bill and the phone company gets stuck with it. This happens in many ways – there are malware attacks where you download a virus and it will make calls to these premium numbers while you’re asleep and rack up huge charges.”
The situation is serious. Asked if the state of fraud was improving Chris said; “Honestly it’s getting worse – in 2017 we had 2-2.5 billion robocalls a month in America. Now we have over 5 billion robocalls a month. In fact every second of the day 1500 or more robocalls hits a US subscriber.”
“The US Congress and the FCC have stepped up to push back against the robo-callers and deploy solutions, they have allowed for a voluntary scheme by the US carriers and their related telecom associations to deploy something called STIR/SHAKEN – an interesting technology that I believe will be quite helpful in stemming the tide and starting to drive those 5 billion calls down.”
Watch the full video below.
Join MEF and iconectiv for an exclusive MEF briefing on SHAKEN/STIR for a more in depth examination of the initiative. Expected to be implemented this year, this briefing explores call blocking requirements including the SHAKEN/STIR standards and the new attestation process, how this impacts businesses, and what companies need to do now to make sure their calls become answered again.