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    Overview

    Did you know that one in 5 calls your customers receive are robocalls? Historically the scourge of an email inbox, mail clients and services have become increasingly adept at weeding out undesirable interaction, while the telephone — once the most trusted form of communications — remains almost entirely unprotected from unwanted calls.

    Operating illegally or offshore, individual criminals and entire crime rings are exploiting your infrastructure for the purposes of identity theft and fraud, invading your customers' privacy and eroding their faith in your company and your service offerings. Fight back today with the Robocall Blocking Service from Metaswitch.

    Architected to support all voice infrastructures and switches, from legacy Class 5 TDM through Metaswitch pure play VoIP, the Metaswitch Robocall Blocking Service is a cloud-based offering leveraging an aggregate of the world’s largest and most respected blacklist databases to ensure legitimate calls are forwarded to your subscribers while spammers are stopped in their tracks.

    Determined to address the 200,000-plus complaints filed every year, the FCC together with the Network Operator and Vendor community have formed a Strike Force whose sole aim is to discuss solutions for combatting robocalls, but you can take control right now with our cost-effective, subscription-based, cloud service offering.

    Metaswitch's Robocall Blocking Service is available today, complete with a free 30-day trial, for existing customers. Find out more on Metaswitch Communities or by contacting us below.


    • Block unwanted calls at the switch
    • Defend your customers' privacy
    • Protect your reputation
    • Be ready for legislation requirements
    • Low-touch installation
    • Pay-as-you-go pricing

    Contact us

    If you want to learn more, or if you want to talk to our sales team, please contact us today.

    Contact us

    If you want to learn more, or if you want to talk to our sales team, please contact us today.


    FAQs

    What is robocalling?

    Strictly speaking, a robocall is a call originated by a computerized autodialer that plays a pre-recorded message to the called party if/when they answer.  Some such calls finish with a "press 1 to speak to...." option to be connected to a real person.

    Some uses of the term "robocall" also encompass calls that are immediately connected to a real person (although may use autodialers to select the called number and initiate the call, only connecting to one of a bank of waiting "agents" if/when the call is answered, to avoid tying up agents waiting on ringing calls that may not be answered).

    The Metaswitch Robocall Blocking Service is designed to block the majority of all these types of "unwanted" calls.

    What are the typical types of unwanted calls?

    The main types of unwanted calls are as follows:

    • Legitimate businesses, charities, political campaigns, debt collectors. These are legally operated businesses that mostly follow the regulations, but there are many cases where almost no-one wants calls from them.
    • Advertising / general spam. Sometimes combined with less than reputable companies bordering on fraud. No-one wants these calls.
    • Pure fraud. Recently featuring in the media, tax scams claiming to be from IRS or CRA chasing you for unpaid taxes.

    Where do unwanted calls originate from?

    This varies depending on the type of unwanted calls.

    • Most illegal / fraudulent calls originating from overseas, and enter the network via VoIP trunks into interconnect providers.
    • Some legitimate businesses also arrive this way.
    • Many legitimate businesses also connect via POTS lines, PRIs, SIP trunks etc. to local exchange carriers (LECs, CLECs).

    It is worth understanding that interconnect providers often have little motivation to prevent these calls, as they get paid by call minutes for them, and don't have directly connected end-users who complain about them.

    What caller ID do unwanted callers use?

    The first barrier to unwanted callers is getting the called party to pick up in the first place.  Many end users have caller ID display these days, and many are very wary about answering calls with caller ID withheld, or from numbers they don't recognize, particularly numbers in different area codes or international numbers.  Therefore unwanted callers usually aim to present a caller ID in the same area code as the called party (in North America that means the same NPA-NXX).

    Many unwanted callers get and use a caller ID that was obtained by entirely legitimate means, either from a local exchange carrier, or buying DIDs from an interconnect provider. However some unwanted callers (including more dubious ones) may acquire a telephone number from a local exchange carrier, but then originate their calls via an interconnect provider because it is cheaper and harder to be traced and shut down.

    Usage of a given caller ID by an unwanted varies, including:

    • using the same caller ID for an extended period of time (months or years)
    • using the same caller ID for a moderate period of time (months), followed by a break, then starting using it again (and repeat)
    • using a caller ID for a very short period of time (hours or days) and then never using it again
    • using random caller IDs, each for only a few calls, or even a different caller ID for every call.

    What is caller ID spoofing?

    In the previous question, the first three cases can all be using legitimately acquired telephone numbers as caller ID.  However, some of them, but definitely the last, represent a practice known as caller ID spoofing, where the unwanted caller is faking someone else's caller ID or an unassigned caller ID.  This is typically not possible for calls originated via local exchange carriers, who check for valid caller IDs, but is possible for calls originated via interconnect providers who do not check.  The possibility of local number portability also makes it difficult to restrict calls from certain caller ID ranges only coming from certain switches (such as a local exchange carrier's own switch).

    Will unwanted callers leave a voicemail?

    Most will not.  Most end-users would recognize if a voicemail is from an unwanted caller and would never return the call.  Moreover many unwanted calls, particularly fraudulent ones, are aiming to use social engineering on the end-user and need to speak to a real person.

    FAQs

    What is robocalling?

    Strictly speaking, a robocall is a call originated by a computerized autodialer that plays a pre-recorded message to the called party if/when they answer.  Some such calls finish with a "press 1 to speak to...." option to be connected to a real person.

    Some uses of the term "robocall" also encompass calls that are immediately connected to a real person (although may use autodialers to select the called number and initiate the call, only connecting to one of a bank of waiting "agents" if/when the call is answered, to avoid tying up agents waiting on ringing calls that may not be answered).

    The Metaswitch Robocall Blocking Service is designed to block the majority of all these types of "unwanted" calls.

    What are the typical types of unwanted calls?

    The main types of unwanted calls are as follows:

    • Legitimate businesses, charities, political campaigns, debt collectors. These are legally operated businesses that mostly follow the regulations, but there are many cases where almost no-one wants calls from them.
    • Advertising / general spam. Sometimes combined with less than reputable companies bordering on fraud. No-one wants these calls.
    • Pure fraud. Recently featuring in the media, tax scams claiming to be from IRS or CRA chasing you for unpaid taxes.

    Where do unwanted calls originate from?

    This varies depending on the type of unwanted calls.

    • Most illegal / fraudulent calls originating from overseas, and enter the network via VoIP trunks into interconnect providers.
    • Some legitimate businesses also arrive this way.
    • Many legitimate businesses also connect via POTS lines, PRIs, SIP trunks etc. to local exchange carriers (LECs, CLECs).

    It is worth understanding that interconnect providers often have little motivation to prevent these calls, as they get paid by call minutes for them, and don't have directly connected end-users who complain about them.

    What caller ID do unwanted callers use?

    The first barrier to unwanted callers is getting the called party to pick up in the first place.  Many end users have caller ID display these days, and many are very wary about answering calls with caller ID withheld, or from numbers they don't recognize, particularly numbers in different area codes or international numbers.  Therefore unwanted callers usually aim to present a caller ID in the same area code as the called party (in North America that means the same NPA-NXX).

    Many unwanted callers get and use a caller ID that was obtained by entirely legitimate means, either from a local exchange carrier, or buying DIDs from an interconnect provider. However some unwanted callers (including more dubious ones) may acquire a telephone number from a local exchange carrier, but then originate their calls via an interconnect provider because it is cheaper and harder to be traced and shut down.

    Usage of a given caller ID by an unwanted varies, including:

    • using the same caller ID for an extended period of time (months or years)
    • using the same caller ID for a moderate period of time (months), followed by a break, then starting using it again (and repeat)
    • using a caller ID for a very short period of time (hours or days) and then never using it again
    • using random caller IDs, each for only a few calls, or even a different caller ID for every call.

    What is caller ID spoofing?

    In the previous question, the first three cases can all be using legitimately acquired telephone numbers as caller ID.  However, some of them, but definitely the last, represent a practice known as caller ID spoofing, where the unwanted caller is faking someone else's caller ID or an unassigned caller ID.  This is typically not possible for calls originated via local exchange carriers, who check for valid caller IDs, but is possible for calls originated via interconnect providers who do not check.  The possibility of local number portability also makes it difficult to restrict calls from certain caller ID ranges only coming from certain switches (such as a local exchange carrier's own switch).

    Will unwanted callers leave a voicemail?

    Most will not.  Most end-users would recognize if a voicemail is from an unwanted caller and would never return the call.  Moreover many unwanted calls, particularly fraudulent ones, are aiming to use social engineering on the end-user and need to speak to a real person.

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