The TRACED Act and FCC orders require service providers to use STIR/SHAKEN or robocall mitigation for calls that they originate. There are many ways to catch robocalls at origination. One of the most effective is using dynamic traffic analysis. Here’s an overview.
Scam robocall perpetrators program their calling computers to send lots of calls in a short period of time, increasing the chances that they’ll get potential victims to answer. The most basic form of dynamic traffic analysis uses call volume to catch them.
The call analytics system can simply count calls from a call source over a given period. Set the call count threshold for action and start catching robocallers.
Identifying the robocaller
The simplest way to count calls is by calling number. Robocall perpetrators almost always spoof the calling number. You can count the number of calls from each calling number.
But robocallers know that, so they sometimes rotate through various spoofed calling numbers.
Call analytics software developers know this, so they design their analytics to group and count calls by various dimensions. Even if the robocaller is cycling through a series of spoofed numbers, it’s more difficult to cycle through the various groupings available. Call analytics often catches robocalling patterns this way.
Not every robocall is illegal. There are many high-volume callers making totally legitimate calls that should not be blocked. How does dynamic traffic analysis account for that?
A well-designed system is self-learning. It remembers call volume and patterns and compares current call activity to these patterns. Call analytics will expect and allow a pattern of high call volume. It looks for unusual call volume and patterns. Trigger thresholds can be set for specific numbers or groups to allow for anticipated high call volume.
Got ‘em – now what?
What should call analytics do with suspected robocalls? Typical options include blocking, diverting to CAPTCHA, or reporting for human follow up.
Your choices may vary by several factors:
- Were the calls caught at origination or termination?
- The TRACED Act and FCC orders will require robocall mitigation at origination for service providers not yet using STIR/SHAKEN. You might want to block such calls or divert them to CAPTCHA.
- To protect subscribers from annoying robocalls, you may wish to divert such calls at termination to voice mail or CAPTCHA and/or label the calls, or block them.
- Is it a legitimate high-volume caller? If so, you might want to adjust their trigger thresholds.
If you do block or label calls, you should provide a way for callers to contact you if they believe their calls have been improperly blocked or labeled.