TNS robust data and analytics show impact of STIR/SHAKEN progress and the use of advanced call analytics and branded calling solutions on unwanted robocall volume

Transaction Network Services (TNS) has today launched its 2023 Robocall Investigation Report, with updates on STIR/SHAKEN implementation, robocall volume and scams and how branded calling solutions are helping to restore trust in voice calling.

The latest of TNS’ bi-annual Robocall Investigation Report marks its 10th Edition of providing the most accurate data to help carriers make mission-critical decisions and is available to download now.

As more carriers successfully implemented STIR/SHAKEN and regulators intensified their enforcement efforts in 2022, Americans saw unwanted robocall volume drop 11% year over year. But TNS’ report identified room for improvement with call authentication accuracy that is critical to the framework’s impact going forward.

“Overall unwanted robocall volume declined slightly, and with June 2023 marking the final stage in STIR/SHAKEN implementation, consumers can anticipate further progress in robocall mitigation. Carriers supported by TNS have excelled in identifying and stopping fraudulent calls early, which means less unwanted calls reaching those carriers’ customers,” said Mike Keegan, CEO of TNS. “But our milestone 10th Robocall Report affirms that blocking robocalls through call authentication is only half the battle; the focus must expand to broader adoption of branded calling solutions that arm consumers with the information they need to trust calls from legitimate brands, and help businesses’ improve customer call answer rates and engagement.”

TNS supports more than 125 service providers in North America including four of the top seven US carriers and two of the top four wireless providers. With nearly 250 million active subscribers and broader access to the largest cross-carrier call events, TNS has unsurpassed ability to categorize and properly attribute incoming calls. This visibility is key to differentiating between legitimate robocall activity and scam.

The TNS 2023 Robocall Investigation Report includes several new insights:

  • Bad Actors Increasingly Target VoIP Networks. In 2022, bad actors turned even more heavily to VoIP networks to launch robocall campaigns with 73% of all unwanted traffic originated from those VoIP numbers in 2022. This continued a progressive climb from 61% of total robocall volume in 2021, up significantly from 53% in 2020.
  • Registration, Vetting and Authentication Needed. Seventy-four percent of calls from Tier-1 carriers in 2022 were signed (authenticated by STIR/SHAKEN). Although the signing of a call is a valuable tool, it is not a silver bullet to preventing unwanted calls. Having a robust registration, vetting and authentication plan in place through branded calling solutions is also needed to differentiate valid calls from bad ones.
  • Restoring Trust to Voice Calling. According to TNS survey data, three-fourths of Americans refuse to answer calls to their wireless phone if they do not recognize the number, affirming that outbound communications need a reboot. As such, Enterprise Branded Calling is a critical solution to get American consumers to answer the phone again, given that 78% would be more willing to answer a call if the caller ID displayed the logo and name of a brand they recognize.
  • Scammers Shift to Post-COVID World. Last year saw bad actors shift away from COVID-related scams that dominated 2021 and 2020 to more traditional, yet increasingly sophisticated scams that now involve simultaneous bad actors and multi-channel approaches. These included: ‘Pig Butchering’, Amazon Refund Trick, Student Loan Scams, and the Fake Tax Compromise Program.
  • Midterm Elections Reveal New Battleground. The 2022 midterm elections were a reminder that bad actors are not solely using robocalls and robotexts to acquire money and personal information, but also to spread disinformation. Americans received 625,000 robocalls on Election Day alone and nearly 35 million robocalls in the 14 weeks leading up to the midterms. That relentless barrage of calls convinced nearly six in 10 voters (59%) that robocalls and robotexts were used to try and undermine confidence in the elections, according to TNS survey data.

To learn more, request a full copy of the TNS 2023 Robocall Investigation Report here.