Despite the FCC’s anti-spoofing STIR/SHAKEN framework, spoofed spam calls remain a major concern. According to data insights from RoboKiller, the app that eliminates 99% of spam calls and text messages, 41% of spam calls in September originated from spoofed caller IDs. This marks a 3% climb from August and the second consecutive month-over-month increase.
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STIR/SHAKEN has not yet been consistent in reducing spoofed calls since its June 30, 2021 release. Initial data were promising—the percentage of spoofed spam calls decreased by 5% in July—but didn’t last. The percentage then increased by 4% in August and 3% in September.
What’s Holding STIR/SHAKEN Back?
The most likely reason for STIR/SHAKEN’s shaky start is that not all voice service providers are required to implement it (small carriers have until mid-2023 to do so). Without complete buy-in, loopholes will remain for scammers to exploit.
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Another issue is that STIR/SHAKEN is not mandatory for carriers outside the United States. That said, the international deadline to implement a robocall mitigation program was September 28, 2021. RoboKiller will keep a close eye on whether that has any effect on spam totals.
Spam Again Increased As a Whole in September
Caller ID spoofing wasn’t the only problem in September; spam as a whole increased, too. RoboKiller found that Americans received an estimated 6.5 billion spam calls and 7.9 billion spam texts in September. These totals mark month-over-month increases of 4% and 3%, respectively.
There Was a Spike in Political Texts in September
Interestingly, political text messages hit American phones the hardest in September, with 1.5 billion total estimated political texts received. RoboKiller received a large number of spam complaints regarding legitimate text messages from political parties and organizations, 8% from Republicans, and 3% from Democrats. Despite it being a non-presidential election year, RoboKiller identified an abundance of spam text messages surrounding political rallies, voter support, and fundraising efforts. RoboKiller’s Mid-Year Political Message Report highlights how scammers took advantage during election season and continue to inundate Americans post-election.
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