FCC Confirms Service Provider Safe Harbor for Protecting U.S. Consumers and Businesses from One-Ring “Wangiri” Robocall Scams
- What’s the News: Under an FCC Report and Order effective Feb. 12, 2021, U.S. service providers may block calls from telephone numbers that are highly likely to be associated with one-ring robocall scams as long as they use reasonable analytics in deciding which telephone numbers to block. In this scam, consumers and businesses are charged a high fee after returning a call they received from a premium-rate or offshore number that lasted only one ring.
- Why It Matters: iconectiv TruNumber Protect gives service providers a cost-effective way to proactively protect their customers by providing essential information for accurately targeting the originators of one-ring and other robocalling scams.
- How It Works: TruNumber Protect is a comprehensive database of high-risk and unallocated number ranges worldwide, including the premium-rate numbers that one-ring scams use. This information helps service providers accurately identify and block fraudulent calls before they reach customers.
- Who’s It for: Any service provider based in the U.S., as well as worldwide.
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. – February 18, 2021 – One single ring may cost a lot of money when it’s a fraudster calling. In a type of robocall scam known as “wangiri,” fraudsters call but hang up after the first ring. When victims call back, they don’t realize that it’s a premium telephone number and they’re hit with steep toll charges. TruNumber Protect identifies these premium-rate numbers to help service providers protect their subscribers from one-ring scams.
Wangiri is a global scourge that is responsible for $1.82B in losses annually, according to reports from the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA). The scam initially targeted consumers but has expanded to businesses, including call centers. The 2019 Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act instructed the FCC to consider steps to protect consumers from one-ring scams. In a Report and Order that took effect Feb. 12, 2021, the FCC clarified that its existing rules have a safe harbor provision allowing service providers to legally block calls from telephone numbers that are highly likely to be associated with one-ring robocall scams so long as they utilize reasonable analytics information in identifying which numbers to block.
“The plethora of one-ring scam calls have been defrauding American citizens and businesses for far too long,” said Richard Jacowleff, iconectiv CEO. “The FCC’s Report and Order, combined with access to authoritative numbering intelligence, make it easier for the industry, as a whole, to stop these fraudsters in their tracks.”
iconectiv TruNumber Protect gives service providers a new way to enhance their call-blocking analytics by including authoritative numbering intelligence that identifies calls from high-risk and unallocated number ranges. Featuring the industry’s most authoritative, consolidated database of information about telephone numbers worldwide, TruNumber Protect is a critical decision tool that service providers can use to block many types of fraud and suspicious activity, including one-ring scams, PBX hacking fraud, international revenue share fraud (IRSF), interconnection-related revenue leakage and fraudulent roaming calls to premium-rate services.
TruNumber Protect provides data for 245 country codes. For example, this includes 222, the West African nation of Mauritania, where wangiri fraudsters targeted people and businesses in Arizona and New York State in 2019. This information helps service providers proactively protect their business and consumer customers from one-ring scams, which typically are identified only after customers review their bills and realize they have been victimized. By blocking calls from high-risk, unallocated and suspicious premium-rate numbers before they reach customers, service providers also eliminate the expense of fielding and investigating customer complaints. By simply loading TruNumber Protect data into their existing call-blocking analytic tools, routing tables, switches and other processes, service providers and cable companies can enhance their ability to detect fraudulent roaming and proactively block calls, including one-ring scams.