T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon have taken steps to reduce spoofed scam calls

The deadline for the FCC's anti-spoofing protocol has been met by all three major US carriers. This protocol is designed to protect consumers from impersonation and scam calls. T-Mobile and Verizon both announced yesterday that all calls originated on their networks comply with the FCC’s "STIR/SHAKEN” technology, which allows callers to see their true number. AT&T confirmed that it is also compliant with the new rules with The Verge.For major carriers to implement the STIR/SHAKEN protocol, the FCC had established a June 30th deadline. This was under the Ajit Pai regime. Unless the FCC shortens that timeframe, which is currently being considered, smaller carriers will have until June 30, 2023.STIR/SHAKEN is a common digital language that phone networks use to exchange valid information. This allows for valid information to be passed from one provider to another, which informs, among others, blocking tools about suspicious calls.What does the new protocol accomplish? It is essential because scammers and spam callers could spoof your phone number to appear as local numbers. This makes it more likely that they will pick up. STIR/SHAKEN addresses this issue by using digital certificates that use public key encryption and are sent by the originating phone service provider. The keys are then verified by the terminating provider. If all the numbers match, the calling number is not spoofed.FCC hopes that carrier implementation will decrease the volume of spam and scam robocalls that make answering your phone a game. Over 1,500 voice providers applied to be included in the FCC's robocall mitigation database. More than 200 of these were fully certified. The FCC stated that if a certification of voice service providers is not in the database, intermediate or voice service providers will not be able to accept the provider's traffic.This protocol will reduce scams and robocalls, but not eliminate them completely. The rules do not apply to legacy phone systems, which don't have IP protocols. Also, the system will not work for international calls. You can still be confident that a local number appears on your phone if it does so.