10 Nov How is 7726 (SPAM) working for you?

How is 7726 (SPAM) working for you

Does the number 7726 mean anything to you? I admit I only learned about it a week ago.

Earlier this year, the US Federal Communication Commission, the Canadian Consumer Protection Agency, OFCOM UK and a number of major Tier 1 Mobile Network Operators launched a campaign informing consumers about the risks of SMS Spam schemes along with a proposed solution. In essence, if you get a suspicious text message on your mobile phone, forward it to 7726. DO NOT REPLY to the message. Just FORWARD to 7726 (overlaps with SPAM on most traditional phone keypads).

We will see whether 7726 works out. My guess is that it won’t make a major difference on its own. Why? A few reasons:

  • For years, the FCC has published a Do Not Call Registry for consumers which in theory should prevent unsolicited calls. Many of us have registered yet we still get tens of robocalls every day.
  • Identifying malicious callers is very difficult with the current state of the public telephone network (PSTN).
  • Educating consumers on a mass scale about yet another problem in their life and expecting them to change their habits is highly unlikely.

The fight with telecom fraud is global and looming. Government agencies, consumers and Tier 1 MNOs are hurt by fraud and spam. With the extended success of CPaaS and the exponential growth in use cases that app developers come up with to engage users with calls and SMS, the temptation for fraud will only grow bigger.

Just in 2018, the FCC has issues penalties in excess of $200 million to companies in the US that violate guidelines against robocalling. Yet robocalls and spam SMS continue to increase.

The good news is that there are proposed solutions to the problem that don’t require consumers to become doctors. One such solution is STIR/SHAKEN proposed and endorsed by multiple industry organizations, government agencies and telecoms. The FCC has sent out letters to most major telecoms to prepare to comply with this new standard in 2019. That will be a big positive step towards limiting robocalls.

Similar solutions can be applied to SMS. Establishing a mathematically verifiable trust network between operators is applicable across various communication channels – calls and messaging. Organizations such as the Messaging Trade Association are working hard towards a practical solution.

Contact us to learn more about our work on securing CPaaS calls and messages throughout the global communications network.

 

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