November 20, 2019

How the Do Not Originate Registry (DNO) Combats Robocalls

Do Not Originate Registry

Are you tired of the sickening robocalls you receive on your phone? It’s not only annoying but also vexing when unending robot calls keep coming. The Do Not Originate Registry is helping to combat spoofed fraudulent calls.

A robocall is an automated dialer that delivers pre-recorded messages rather than a live conversation. Mostly, these robocalls can be infuriating as they deliver unwanted, irritative messages. Combating robocalls have taken a new twist with the entry of various government agencies and organizations.

Most notably is the Do Not Originate Registry (DNO) that has stepped up the game of combating robocalls. This article helps you understand the idea of the DNO as well as the role of the Robocall Strike Force in dealing with robocalls.

What is the Robocall Strike Force?

Combating robocalls have come a long way. In 2016, the FCC came up with an ambitious idea to form the Robocall Strike Force that would help end illegal robocalls. The force would bring together companies, agencies, non-governmental organizations, and multinationals.

The Robocall Strike Force is a unit of more than 30 giant companies, institutions, and organizations with the main of combating robocalls.

Some notable members of the Robocall Strike Force include;

  • AT&T
  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Samsung
  • LG
  • Blackberry
  • T-Mobile
  • Nokia
  • Comcast

The FCC convened the first meeting in August 2016 with the tech gurus to oversee how to deal with robocalls. Besides the big tech companies, this task force also consists of other experts such as regulators, network designers, OS developers, and lawmakers.

Goals of the Taskforce

The main goal of the Robocall Strike Force was to come up with new call standards that would make it easier to block robocalls.

In October 2016, the Robocall Task Force issued a progressive report outlining progress on combating robocalls. Although the report was incomplete, it played a significant part in setting the ground for mechanisms of fighting robocalls.

How the Do Not Originate (DNO) Registry Came About

In 2017, the task force aimed at reducing caller ID spoofing. The idea of the Do Not Originate Registry was to combat spoofers who impersonate legit numbers from government or private institutions.

The first step was to test the “Do Not Originate” with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) numbers. The most spoofed numbers were used to test the “Do Not Originate” registry to establish whether the idea can work. After a successful test, the most commonly spoofed numbers reduced robocall complaints by 90%. The IRS numbers were listed as receive only in a database. Initially, scammers would use the 1-800 numbers resembling those used by the IRS for tax scams.

Although the Do Not Originate is an old project, the Robocall Strike Force helped develop it into the mainstream. Many companies have since launched their DNOs to help institutions fight spoofing and robocalls.

How Do Not Originate Works

The Do Not Originate registry involves the management of an outbound-calling blacklist. This blacklist consists of numbers used solely for inbound calls. These numbers can belong to government agencies, financial institutions, and companies.

The DNO registry allows users to specify numbers explicitly used for incoming calls. Any scammer trying to spoof an “inbound only” number, such as those from the IRS, would be blocked at the carrier level before reaching the intended victim.

For example, if your company has specific inbound numbers, you can list them on the DNO registry. Any spoofed call will appear to the carrier as “inbound only”. Upon detecting an “inbound only” number placing an outbound call, the carrier blocks it. Blocking at the carrier level not only protects the recipient but also acts as a blow to the spammer.

DNO on VoIP Calls

VoIP gateways will check the DNO list before processing outbound calls. If the number is listed on the DNO list, the VoIP gateway will block the outbound call. The goal of this check is to prevent the origination of any calls that originate from listed numbers.

One of the most spoofed numbers is the 1-800-829-1040, which the IRS uses to receive tax help questions. When added to the Do Not Originate list, issues of spoofing reduced by 90%. However, spammers shifted to closely related numbers to lure unsuspecting recipients.

The Do Not Originate list helps uphold the reputation of companies and agencies. By blocking spoofed calls at the carrier level, it removes the burden of robocalls from unsuspecting users.

Additional Measures From the Robocall Strike Force:

The Robocall Strike Force is looking into ways of classifying calls to be more transparent to consumers.

Alongside the DNO registry, the task force members came up with other systems to classify calls into their respective categories, i.e., charity, political, etc. The main aim of this classification was to give call recipients information about calls from unknown numbers. Being able to classify a call, such as a charity or political will allow people to decide whether they want to answer calls from numbers they do not recognize.

Classifying numbers will be made possible by a collaboration between traditional landline networks and VoIP applications. This will also help deal with spoofers from foreign countries.

STIR/SHAKEN Implementation

The Robocall Strike Force accelerated standards for verification and authentication of caller ID for calls carried over an Internet Protocol. Among these standards is the Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using Tokens (SHAKEN). The incorporation of STIR/SHAKEN with the DNO helps weed out spoofed numbers.

Also, the Robocall Strike Force identified regulatory roadblocks and asked the FCC for clarification of some rules. On its side, the FCC addressed the issues in the NOI and NPRM releases of March 2017.

The Robocall Strike Force is working closely with the FCC to forge an effective inter-carrier communication with entities whose numbers have been maliciously spoofed.

Combating Robocalls

Reducing illegal robocalls is a complicated affair that will take time to counter. It calls for collaboration among carriers, government agencies, the FCC, and relevant bodies such as the Robocall Strike Force. Also, it requires dynamic rules and guidelines as well as protection for actions from carriers. With the rise of regulatory issues, the FCC will continue to remove any roadblocks on the way.

Over the last three years, these entities have made significant progress, and there is great hope that malicious robocalls will come to a halt. Although it will prove challenging, the FCC, together with the Robocall Force, will continue devising ways on how to stop illegal spoofing. Advancement of the Do Not Call Registry looks certain in combating all avenues of malicious spoofing.

Maintain Your Reputation

If you want to uphold a high company reputation, it’s time to adopt modern technologies that will help you combat spoofing. Caller ID reputation assists entities in identifying instances of spoofing. The Caller ID Reputation is a software that enables you to track both outbound and inbound numbers. It helps you identify the spoofed business numbers. This will help your business do all it can to handle spoofing, whether it means listing in the Do Not Originate (DNO) Registry or changing its numbers.