[Spam Calls #3] How Carriers Protect Subscribers from Nuisance Calls

Chris Sorensen

April 25, 2024

5 min

Table of Contents

Note: This is the 3rd article in our 5-part series designed to help businesses understand the spam call ecosystem and reduce the risk of flags on their legitimate calls.

Miss a post? Start here:
Understanding the Spam Call EcosystemThe Anatomy of a Spam Call

As spam calls have become an all-too-common annoyance, telecommunications providers are taking a stand to protect their subscribers from these intrusive daily disruptions.

In this third installment of our blog series, we'll unveil the mechanisms behind anti-spam solutions, explain how carriers collaborate with industry partners and regulatory bodies, and highlight the direct benefits subscribers receive from our anti-spam efforts.


An Anti-Spam Solution

Carriers and the analytics engines they partner with have a tremendous amount of data available to them that they can employ in their anti-spam efforts. 

Algorithms vary, but they tend to leverage similar tools to prevent or reduce the nuisance of spam calls for their subscribers, including:

1. Call & Engagement Analytics: 

Advanced call analytics systems continuously monitor incoming calls, analyzing patterns and behavior. This enables carriers to identify calls and call patterns that exhibit spam-like characteristics, such as high call frequency or generic caller IDs. Call engagement is important too. Are calls being answered? Dropped? Are contacts who answer staying on the line, or quickly dropping?

2. Machine Learning: 

Spammers adapt their tactics to evade the mechanisms in place to catch them. Carriers leverage machine learning models, trained on vast datasets of call data, to keep pace. These models recognize evolving spam tactics, and continually tighten the noose to keep scam detection as effective as possible.

3. Crowdsourced Data: 

Subscribers play a crucial role in our fight against spam. When you report a spam call, you contribute to a collective data pool, helping identify new spam numbers and patterns.  This is an area particularly frustrating for businesses.  At times, consumers who are no longer in the market for a solution or product will default to marking a call as spam even though it’s simply a function of the prospect/customer no longer being interested.  

4. Call Blocking:

Once a spam call is identified, mechanisms are in place to block it from reaching subscribers' phones, or at a minimum, label it as such. This helps ensure that nuisance calls are as minimally disruptive to subscribers as possible.


Collaborative Efforts for a Spam-Free Future

Combating spam calls and ensuring legitimate calls arrive without a negative call label requires a united front.

We see carriers actively collaborating with various stakeholders to create a safer and more enjoyable calling environment, including:

1. Industry Partnerships:

Carriers compete on basically everything… except for spam. You’ll often see carriers partnering with other telecommunications providers and industry organizations to share insights and best practices in spam call prevention. This collaboration works to strengthen collective efforts to protect subscribers, and facilitate a healthy future for phone communications.

2. Regulatory Compliance:

Carriers must adhere to government regulations, including the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) guidelines for call labeling and authentication. Compliance with these regulations is critical for maintaining a spam-free environment. But at times, using limited data, legitimate enterprise callers can get caught in the fray as calls can be mislabeled or blocked completely. Collaboration is crucial to the system working as it should.


Direct Benefits for Subscribers

The heart of anti-spam efforts is a commitment by carriers to provide subscribers with a nuisance-free calling experience. To understand from the carriers perspective, these are the benefits they’re working to providing subscribers:

  • Reduced Annoyance: Anti-spam measures mean fewer unwanted calls and disruptions to your daily life
  • Enhanced Privacy - Carriers want you to trust that your personal information is better protected when spam calls are intercepted and blocked
  • Improved Call Quality- With spam calls out of the equation, you can enjoy clearer, more effective communication with friends, family, and businesses


Summary and What’s Next

The carriers are actively engaged in the battle to reduce the nuisance created by spam calls to improve the daily experience for their subscribers. 

Carriers employ cutting-edge technology, collaborate with industry partners, and adhere to regulations to continually chip away at scammers, and move toward a spam-free future.

The benefits are significant, and progress is being made… however there continues to be collateral damage in that legitimate business calls continue to be impacted.

In our next post, we’ll dive into what businesses can do to ensure their calls stand out (for the right reasons) and improve their number reputation and call engagement rates in the process.

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