Verizon announced today the introduction of a new Caller ID feature for its landline phone customers to help them recognize unwanted calls. The new feature, called Spam Alerts, will now show “SPAM?” before a caller’s name on the Caller ID display if the calling number matches Verizon’s spam criteria. According to the company, when a customer sees this, they’ll be able to better decide if they should answer the call.

Spam Alerts is automatically available now at no additional charge to all landline customers with Caller ID, whether they’re on copper or fiber.

The company concedes, while Caller ID has always been a way for customers to screen unknown numbers as possible robocalls (and perhaps avoid certain known numbers), just because a number is unknown doesn’t mean it might not be an important call.

Verizon's Spam Alerts feature utilizes TNS's Call Guardian and Neustar’s Robocall Mitigation solution to proactively identify illegal robocalls and other fraudulent caller activity with more accuracy.

Verizon says it is the first to offer an integrated landline feature like this to help customers make more informed decisions on whether to answer a call from an unknown number.

The company recently upgraded its Caller Name ID app, which gives Verizon Wireless customers the ability to identify incoming callers and text message senders by name and its Robocall Protection feature warns customers when incoming calls are likely spam, fraud, or a robocall.

More information about more of Verizon’s anti-robocall tools is available at  www.verizon.com/robocalls.

insideARM Perspective

The world of robocall -- or simply, a call made with the use of an automated dialer and/or automated voice -- labeling is evolving quickly, and is expected to have a material affect on legitimate call originators like ARM companies. To date, so-called analytics companies such as TNS, Neustar, First Orion, Hiya, Nomorobo, and others, have led the way in solution development. These solutions have primarily provided information tools to consumers to help them make decisions about what calls to answer. The next major initiative promises to address the issue at a more fundamental level. The "SHAKEN" protol currently in development will allow an originating service provider (carrier) to attest to the fact that a calling number is owned by the originator. This should make it much harder for illegal actors to spoof others' numbers.

Industry groups like the Consumer Relations Consortium (CRC) and its Innovation Council have been devoting considerable time to understanding the landscape and developments as they occur. The upcoming meeting of the group in Washington, DC will feature James McEachern -- Principal Technologist from The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), which is developing the SHAKEN protocol -- as well as Neustar and other players in the space. 

See this March 28 insideARM article for more background information.


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