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What Companies Need to Know About TRACED Act Compliance
May 20, 2022 at 5:00 AM
Telecom towers on Winter Hill, Bolton, UK.

Phone carrier companies must remain in compliance with the TRACED Act to avoid fines, retain their customer base, and help end robocalls across the United States.

Robocalls versus Spoof Calls

Robocalls are spam calls that contain a pre-recorded message. A common robocall you may have received before includes a message about extending your car’s service warranty. But fake debt collection calls, calls from political candidates, and more, are all common.

While not all robocalls are spam — sometimes a company may send out a legitimate robocall to update consumers about their services or discuss service interruptions — the vast majority of robocalls are designed to gain a victim’s personal information.

While robocalls are sometimes identified by their out-of-area phone numbers or with a “Spam Likely” caller ID, robocalls can sometimes appear “spoofed”, meaning their numbers appear as numbers in your area or look similar to numbers of people you know.

Protecting consumers from both robocalls and spoofed robocalls is the primary goal of the TRACED Act that was passed by the FCC in 2019. To help accomplish this goal, the FCC requires that phone carrier companies both large and small remain compliant with TRACED Act protocols.

The TRACED Act

At its core, the TRACED Act is designed to give the FCC more authority to prosecute telephone call scammers, as well as make it easier for consumers to recognize robocalls so they can avoid answering them.

The TRACED Act requires service providers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and more, to implement a number-authentication solution to consumers at no charge so that they can more effectively ID incoming calls. The TRACED Act also imposes steeper penalties for those who carry out robocalls on a repeated basis.

For example, if the FCC finds someone at fault for an intentional, unlawful robocall, there’s a potential penalty of up to $10,000 for each robocall made. And, because of the TRACED Act, law enforcement now has an extended statute of limitations of up to four years to pursue robocallers.

STIR/SHAKEN Authentication Framework

STIR/SHAKEN is a framework for standards that uses authenticated tokens or digital fingerprints to help identify callers and reduce the risk effectiveness of spoofing. The FCC, as part of the TRACED Act, requires that companies implement STIR/SHAKEN technology to help warn consumers about potential robocalls.

In practice, consumers benefit from an increase in caller ID visibility with robocalls now carrying a label such as “Spam Likely” or “Spam Risk”. While larger companies were — and have implemented STIR/SHAKEN solutions to remain compliant with the FCC, smaller, rural companies that are using older, analog equipment were given until June 30, 2022 to implement STIR/SHAKEN.

Remaining Compliant

To help make sure your company is remaining in compliance with the TRACED Act, you’ll want to take these steps.

1. STIR/SHAKEN Robocall Mitigation

STIR/SHAKEN implementation is the first step in becoming compliant with the TRACED Act. If you’re a smaller company that needs to file an extension to meet the deadline, you’ll need to be able to provide details about your system and how you’re adhering to the other requirements.

2. File for Certification

After your company has opted in for STIR/SHAKEN or another robocall mitigation program, you’ll need to file for certification with the FCC.

3. Block Calls without Robocall Mitigation Database Certifications

Companies will need to ensure that upstream providers have filed their certifications.

4. Cooperate with Traceback Requests

Companies must emphasize training their employees on how to respond to traceback requests for illegal robocalls so that the company isn’t labeled as non-cooperative by the Industry Traceback Group.

If your company needs help meeting TRACED Act requirements, turn to the professionals at Prescott-Martini. We have more than 150 years of combined telecommunications experience and can help your company find a solution that fits your specific needs. Ensure your company is meeting FCC TRACED Act compliance with Prescott-Martini.