January 4, 2023

Year in Review: How STIR/SHAKEN Affected Robocall Trends in 2022

How STIR/SHAKEN Affected Robocall Trends in 2022

Despite the passage of STIR/SHAKEN, robocalls continue to be a problem for consumers and businesses. In November 2022, 7.52% of all calls were robocalls, an improvement over past numbers but still not the desired result. STIR/SHAKEN was officially mandated for June 30th, 2021, with smaller carriers afforded an extension to June 30th, 2022.

Despite these deadlines, not all U.S. carriers have fully implemented the call authentication technology, explaining the persistently high robocall rate. Still, 2022 did reflect some positive effects of the legislation.  

STIR/SHAKEN Statistics for 2022

Trans Nexus provides monthly updates for analysis of STIR/SHAKEN statistics. Their recent report shows some interesting figures that indicate an improvement in call authentication effectiveness. However, there are still a large number of robocalls that get “signed” through the STIR/SHAKEN framework.

Attestation Signed Calls

To prevent scams, the majority of calls need to be signed with an A Attestation, which means that the service provider has authenticated the calling party, ensuring that they are authorized to use the calling number. Anything less leaves consumers open to spoofing, spams, scams, etc. 

The attestation stats are improving, with B attestation numbers going down in November by 1.42%. Those with a C attestation rating were down more – a full 6.09%. These stats are encouraging. 

However, calls with a C attestation are over 3.5 times more likely to be robocalls than unsigned calls – a truly unsettling figure. The system is still not fully working.

SHAKEN Participation

Over the last six months, stats show a slight increase in SHAKEN participation among Originating Service Providers. The number of participants rose from 499 in October to 511 in November, a 2.4% increase. This number had risen by 8.7% in October. 

However, SHAKEN authorized providers increased by only 0.5% in November and 4.6% in October. Numbers did jump during the first part of the year, but those increases are now quite small, leaving growth flat. In addition, Robocall Mitigation Filings have now fallen to a trickle. 

Signed Calls Reaching Destinations

Increased STIR/SHAKEN participation should lead to more signed calls received at termination; however, that is not the case. Most calls arrived unsigned. In fact, 75.46 % of calls received for termination in November were unsigned. While this number is slightly less than October’s figures, it is still discouraging for many in the industry. 

Robocall Trends for 2022

The robocall trends for the last year were often discouraging. Some of the most startling statistics include: 

  • 6.47 billion robocalls in November alone – nearly 24 spam calls per U.S. resident.
  • 2415 robocalls per second.
  • $61,833,647,146 money lost to call fraud.
  • Top scammers included tax debt reduction, home warranty, prison call consent, and vaccination callers.

Areas receiving the most robocalls were:

  • Atlanta
  • Dallas
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles

These figures show that most Americans are still negatively affected by robocalls, especially those in urban areas.

DNC Statistics

The National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for 2022 reports that over 2.5 million people signed up with the DNC registry, making for a total registration of 246 million phone numbers. 

The Data Book also reports the most frequent complaints they got during the year. Complaints about imposter calls are at the top of their list, with approximately 287,000 received. 

However, the agency received fewer calls this year for most topics except for medical and prescription calls. Those unwanted contacts increased by more than 1,000. These stats are another reflection of continued robocall harassment and consumer unhappiness.

What to Expect in 2023

In 2023, the goal is to ensure all U.S. based carriers adopt STIR/SHAKEN technology. Improving attestation ratings and accuracy should reduce the number of robocalls U.S. consumers receive. However, it is unlikely that the problem will be eliminated entirely.

The FCC is taking steps to beef up its enforcement against bad actors in the coming year. These are some of the steps we can expect:

Updates for Non-Facilities-Based Providers

Non-facilities-based providers are those that operate telecommunications services but do not own the facilities. Their extension for STIR/SHAKEN implementation was up in June. These operations are responsible for the majority of robocalls, so their participation should significantly reduce the number of these calls.

Standards for Non-IP Phone Networks

The FCC is working to fill a compliance gap with non-IP phone networks. STIR/SHAKEN standards only work on IP-based phone networks, so spoofed robocalls can easily be transmitted on non-IP networks. The FCC is calling for advanced technology to make it possible for these networks to send and receive caller ID information. 

RMD Removal of Non-Compliant Networks

The FCC began removing non-compliant voice service providers from the Robocall Mitigation Database in October 2022. As a result, compliant carriers will block their calls. This move makes it more difficult for bad actors to do business on U.S. phone networks. The FCC initially targeted seven providers for removal, giving them a short period to improve their compliance efforts significantly. 

Ongoing Robocall Mitigation Efforts

STIR/SHAKEN statistics were disappointing in 2022, with many spam and scammers freely operating. However, the U.S. was far from total compliance with STIR/SHAKEN legislation. Implementation deadlines are now well past, and the FCC is upping enforcement efforts. 2023 should finally demonstrate an improvement in robocall trends.