You've likely been on the receiving end of a spoofed call.
It appears to be a local number calling, with varying messages: you’ve won a trip, a warrant has been issued for your arrest, your computer isn’t working.
And they’re irritating, part of an array of scam calls that have been targeting Canadians for years now.
Now, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) says it has tools for Canadians to determine what calls can be trusted and which from spoofed numbers can be ignored.
“Caller ID spoofing is frequently used in nuisance and fraudulent calls to mask the identity of the caller,” the CRTC said.
The CRTC has introduced new technology aimed at combating those calls.
It’s called Stir/Shaken and will allow telecommunications service providers to certify whether a caller’s identity can be trusted by verifying the caller ID information for Internet Protocol (IP)-based voice calls.
“This new caller ID technology will empower Canadians to determine which calls are legitimate and worth answering, and which need to be treated with caution,” CRTC chair Ian Scott said. “As more providers upgrade their networks, Stir/Shaken will undoubtedly reduce spoofing and help Canadians regain peace of mind when answering phone calls.”
The CRTC said as service providers continue to upgrade IP networks and offer compatible phones to their customers, more and more Canadians will be able to see the effects of Stir/Shaken.
The CRTC said it’s also working with the industry to develop a process to trace nuisance calls back to their points of origin.
The CRTC stressed not all calls will be verifiable due to device and network compatibility requirements, including calls that are not entirely performed over an IP-voice network.
The commission is reminding Canadians to never provide personal information such as banking information or social insurance numbers over the phone without first verifying whether the request is legitimate.