August 21st, 2018
By analyzing 1 billion call events per day across over 500 telecom operators, TNS’ robocall detection solution enables carriers to better protect subscribers from local number caller ID spoofing
Transaction Network Services (TNS), whose Call Guardian robocall detection solution is used by leading US wireless service providers as well as US landline providers, today announced that its Neighbor Spoofing feature is enabling carriers to protect their subscribers from the increasingly popular neighbor spoofing robocall tactic.
With neighbor spoofing, no matter where the call originates, the information on the receiver’s phone matches or closely matches the area code and a number of digits from his or her own phone number – which makes the consumer more likely to trust the call and pick up. TNS’ neighbor spoofing feature analyzes 1 billion call events per day across over 500 telecom operators to detect and establish a reputation for phone numbers and phone calls to help consumers evaluate if a phone call with a familiar area code is legitimate.
The FTC received 4.5 million robocall complaints in 2017, up from 3.4 million the prior year. Robocall bad actors continue to adjust their strategy to elude detection, and Neighbor Spoofing has emerged as a top tactic. While some Over-The-Top (OTT) robocall blocking apps claim to address neighbor spoofing, the effectiveness of these apps is severely limited by lack of real-time visibility into telecom network call activity and call origination.
“In early 2017, TNS started to see a sizable increase in the use of neighbor spoofing as a way for bad actors to evade measures put in place to detect traditional call spoofing,” said Bill Versen, Chief Product Officer at TNS. “Due to our unique position within the telecom industry as one of the largest independent inter-carrier call signaling, routing, and end-point discovery providers, carriers leveraging TNS Call Guardian can detect neighbor spoofing calls with greater accuracy than OTT apps. In a recent study by Mind Commerce, TNS Call Guardian correctly identified spoofed numbers 98% of the time during testing compared to 64% of our nearest competitor.”
When a call comes through, TNS Call Guardian is able to determine whether the number is invalid, unallocated, or unassigned, including toll free numbers. If the number is not valid, TNS Call Guardian is then able to alert the user on the receiving line that they should not answer. If it is a valid number, then another level of analysis is performed.
TNS Call Guardian performs additional analysis including review of attestation level of the call if the service providers have implemented the latest call authentication standards such as STIR/SHAKEN. Additionally, an examination of signaling events for that particular call is performed and if there are signaling events that indicate that call has traversed an unlikely route or originated from a network that does not own the number, that single call is tagged as suspect spoofing. When a call comes through, the receiver is alerted of the phone number’s reputation, and is advised whether or not it is likely safe to answer.
Bill Versen, adds: “Neighbor spoofing is more than a nuisance. If consumers stop answering calls from local numbers, they could miss an important call from a hospital, pharmacy, school, or loved one. With neighbor spoofing detection, carriers can offer even greater protection to subscribers.”