SHAKEN/STIR Shakes Up Robodialers
Why this is GOOD NEWS for skip tracing.
December 30, 2019, was the day that Congress finally stood up for the American people and enacted the TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act). SHAKEN/STIR is another set of acronyms that stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs/Secure Telephone Identity Revisited, and is the tech behind making this beautiful thing work. SHAKEN/STIR is directed at the misuse of robo-dialers to commit fraud against unsuspecting phone owners.
The act gives the deadline of June 30, 2021, for telcos to be in full compliance with updating phone account owner information in the Line Information Database. Most robo-dialers have wrong numbers because they deliberately delete the verified phone number in the program. So when you return a call to a random phone number you’ll hear it’s disconnected even though you’ve just received the call moments before. Many carriers such as Tmobile stopped updating this information citing privacy concerns. VoIP, mobile, landline, and possibly toll-free numbers as well will be so much easier to bust.
This is excellent news for skip tracing efforts on getting the caller ID name and address information on a number whereas there was nothing to be found before. I’ve already tested my phone lines on three major telcos and our VoIP vendor and they are definitely not in compliance. The one exception is that when I used 0000000000 as outgoing caller ID, the call was tagged as SPAM and UNAVAILABLE by my own landline caller ID unit. I was not able to view the number at all.
I think spoofing will always perform as a middleman and the data fetched is the actual phone subscriber information. It’s the way I once busted numbers that didn’t appear in a professional database. I called my landline using spoof calling to see what name shows up with the number.
The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2006, and 2009 made it a violation of federal law to use call spoofing to effectuate fraud upon an unsuspecting victim. This statute doesn’t prohibit the end user from using it for honest and convenient applications. Around this time telco’s of all types required a government-issued ID to open or maintain phone service but just as quickly as the rule was implemented, it was dropped due to loss of sales and difficulty to enforce.
Currently, anyone can anonymously buy a burner phone off the shelf and start a new service. The prepaid phone carriers will accept any information you give them, it’s always been this way and I don’t think it’ll never change. You can be anyone or any company you want to be. I suggest grabbing all the directory listings with Yelp, Manta, Merchant Circle, Google Business Listings, etc. to establish an online presence. Also, check out Verizon’s foreign listing service that places your number and your company in their phone books for a nominal fee.
I don’t see private investigators, repossessors, or process servers being greatly affected by this because they typically don’t use robo-dialers. Most investigators I know don’t prefer to use call spoofing either. It’s incredibly productive to establish a pretext company and build an online presence that establishes trust and a higher rate of success.
In the near future, I’ll show you a fake company created by a skip tracer who set up an employment recruiting business. Although many would not prefer to do anything like this, as it’s a Deceptive Trade Practices Act violation, the website, social media, and even the talk off is engineered at getting the victim to tell the recruiting company where they’re currently working for the secret goal of finding a good garnishable job, is a fantastic example of a well-established pretext company albeit and illegal one.