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New phone tech can help screen scammers

Do not give out your social insurance number to any callers purporting to be from the Nunavut Court of Justice or the Department of Justice. Pixabay photo

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is asking telecom providers to adopt technology that screens suspicious calls.

"What we announced today is a protocol called SHAKEN/STIR. It's already coming into force in the U.S. by the end of the year. By September of next year Canadian companies will get it," said CRTC spokesperson Patricia Valladao.

The system's name is an acronym for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) standards. The technology won't necessarily stop all phone scams, because SHAKEN/STIR operates on Internet-based phone systems and isn't compatible with land lines or mobile phones.

It helps the telecom provider validate incoming calls to determine whether they're coming from scammers and authenticates them for the users.

The CRTC is encouraging Canadian telecom carriers to adopt SHAKEN/STIR.

"Canadians are really tired of getting these calls from fraudsters in India or other places. We tell Canadians to not provide personal information during these phone calls. There's a need to educate Canadians about this," said Valladao.