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Robocall Mitigation Solutions to Halt Criminal Threats

If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it's likely a robocall. A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message. In 2020, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 2.8 million consumer complaints about robocalls.

Offering solutions to robocalling and associated fraudulent business practices, computerized mitigation platforms are an integral part of the solution. Platforms that are focused on actionable systems to disrupt unsolicited and potentially criminal phone calls help telecom service providers and industry regulators.

Issues of whether one-size-fits-all developments are sufficient to be effective across the spectrum need to be addressed, and whether a single telecom network operator working unilaterally with a third-party platform could compromise desired or mandatory industry-wide standards.

Robocall Mitigation Market Development

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, uninformed people will lose $40 billion to fraudulent robocalls globally in 2022 -- that's rising from an estimate of $31 billion in 2021.

Fraudulent robocalls pose threats by encouraging the disclosure of personal information that criminals can use for identity theft. In most robocall fraud cases, the fraudsters impersonate a genuine commercial brand or enterprise to gain the call recipient’s trust.

Juniper analysts predict that emerging mitigation frameworks will combat some fraudulent robocalls by creating an ecosystem in which commercial brands and/or enterprises are verified before the telephone call is placed by the telecom service provider.
 
However, Juniper has noted that standardizing services across all stakeholders -- including mobile network operators, commercial brands, and mobile operating system developers -- will be essential to creating a service that mitigates fraud in real-time.


The Juniper study identified brand authentication technologies as a critical element of these new frameworks. However, much more needs to be done in order to curtail this global criminal activity.

Authentication services provide mobile subscribers with information on the smartphone screen before the phone call has been answered -- including the verified identity of the enterprise calling and the purpose for the call.

To maximize the benefit of these frameworks, creating an ecosystem that enables commercial brands or enterprises to be verified by a third party will be essential to re-establish trust in mobile voice services as a viable communications channel.

"Even if the fraudulent attempt is unsuccessful, subscribers will still be subject to nuisance calls. In 2022, we predict over 110 billion unwanted robocalls will be made globally; significantly diminishing the value of mobile voice channels," said Charles Bowman, industry analyst at Juniper Research.

Outlook for Robocall Mitigation Solutions Growth

North America is the region most afflicted by fraudulent robocalling -- anticipated to account for 45 percent of all global losses next year, despite representing just 5 percent of the total mobile phone subscribers.

The Juniper market study findings suggest that other regions emulate STIR/SHAKEN, a framework developed and deployed in the U.S. in response to the growing threat of fraudulent robocalls.

This framework standardizes stakeholder roles in combatting robocalls aiming to reduce financial loss to fraud. That said, the FTC’s National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry lets U.S. consumers choose not to receive most 'legal' telemarketing calls.

The data show that the number of active registrations on the DNC Registry increased by two million over the past year, while the total number of consumer complaints decreased for the third year in a row. 

Regardless, American government policymakers will be pressured to curtail the ongoing use of robocalling platforms. And, since this is clearly an international problem -- most calls are placed from nations that are outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. government -- Interpol must be actively involved in the prosecution of this criminal activity. And, punishment must be severe for the repeat offenders.

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