AT&T and T-Mobile fight Caller ID spoofing with number verification system

AT&T and T Mobile have announced that they will be authenticating calls between their customers in an effort to combat spam calls

AT&T and T Mobile have announced that they will be authenticating calls between their customers in an effort to combat spam calls

The carriers made a big deal of the partnership, saying in an announcement that they "put differences aside to fight unwanted robocalls for customers".

"A call that is illegally "spoofed" - or shows a faked number - will fail the SHAKEN/STIR Caller ID verification and will not be marked as verified", the companies said in a statement. For example, AT&T told Ars that it's using Caller ID authentication as one data point in its anti-robocall algorithm but that it isn't blocking calls exclusively based on whether they aren't authenticated. That way, the originating carrier signals that the call actually is coming from the person the caller ID claims to be. T-Mobile and AT&T just announced that they are working together to implement FCC recommended standards for digital validation of phone calls across their networks. The call authentication technology is based on SHAKEN/STIR standards, which means AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers will now be notified in case an incoming call is a spoofed robocall.

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The target is caller ID spoofing, a technique used by spam callers and robocall systems to try to persuade you to answer the phone.

Verizon said it began deployment of SHAKEN/STIR in March, and Sprint has said it will do the same. Most calls today aren't subjected to the SHAKEN/STIR test, T-Mobile said.

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In order to use Caller Verified, you'll need one of 12 Samsung or LG devices on T-Mobile or Metro by T-Mobile. If that's not showing, you'll know that the call could be suspicious.

In November previous year, FCC chairman Ajit Pai had asked all major USA carriers to deploy a call authentication system using the SHAKEN/STIR framework by the end of 2019.

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We're still a ways away from robocalls being intercepted and cut off before they reach our phones, but this is a huge step in the right direction, especially for those of us who still actually make and receive phone calls on a regular basis and don't want to second guess every time we have to pick up the phone.

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