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Call blocking comes into force: Canadians to have more protection against nuisance calls

Canadians will soon have access to a call blocking system that better protects themselves against unsolicited and illegitimate calls. The CRTC required telecommunications service providers to implement this system within their networks by December 19, 2019.

Canadians should never provide personal information (such as banking information or Social Insurance Numbers) over the phone without first verifying whether the request is legitimate.

“Canadians need to have the right tools to manage nuisance calls,” Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC said. “With the implementation of a call-blocking system, calls that are malformed will be stopped within the network. At the same time, we are working with the industry on other tools to better protect Canadians from nuisance calls, including a process to alert them when the caller ID has been spoofed. ”

Call blocking is part of an array of measures tackling nuisance calls. The CRTC is working with telecommunications service providers to authenticate and verify the caller ID information and to trace nuisance calls back to their points of origin.

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With the implementation of this system, calls with caller identification (caller ID) information that either exceeds 15 digits or does not conform to a number that can be dialed (for example, 000-000-0000) will be blocked before reaching the subscriber.

Furthermore, we asked telecommunications service providers to implement, by September 2020, the STIR/SHAKEN framework which is a caller ID authentication and verification measure, Scott added.

Providers that offer their subscribers call filtering services, which provide more advanced call management features, will not have to implement call blocking.

The CRTC continues to work with its domestic and international partners to address unsolicited and illegitimate telemarketing calls.

“We are aware that telecommunications service providers are working with organizations to ensure that their business telephone systems are compatible with this new measure,” Scott said.

Filtering services, such as call blocking, provide consumers with services that could take certain actions to manage suspect nuisance calls on their behalf.

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