CRTC  steps up efforts to combat spoofed calls

News release

December 9, 2019 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

The CRTC today took further steps to combat caller ID spoofing and determine the origins of nuisance calls. The CRTC expects telecommunications service providers will implement a new framework called STIR/SHAKEN* by September 30, 2020.

STIR/SHAKEN will enable service providers to certify whether a caller’s identity can be trusted by authenticating and verifying the caller ID information for Internet Protocol-based voice calls. This new framework will empower Canadians to determine which calls are authenticated, reducing the frequency and impact of caller ID spoofing.

This is the latest step in the CRTC’s broader efforts to combat nuisance and unsolicited calls. In the past year, the CRTC has encouraged service providers to offer their customers call-filtering services that provide advanced call-management features. Providers that do not offer these services must implement a system to block certain types of calls within their networks before the end of the year. The CRTC is also working with the industry to develop a process to trace nuisance calls back to their points of origin.


“Nuisance calls are a major irritant for many Canadians. We are committed to addressing this issue and are working with the industry and our partners to better protect consumers. The new STIR/SHAKEN framework will enable Canadians to know, before they answer the phone, whether a call is legitimate or whether it should be treated with suspicion.”

-Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO, CRTC

*STIR [Secure Telephony Identity Revisited]/SHAKEN [Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs]

Quick facts

  • Today, the Chair of the CRTC will conduct a test of the STIR/SHAKEN framework with the Chair of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

  • Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious or altered phone numbers when making calls.

  • Canadians should never provide personal information (such as banking information or Social Insurance Numbers) over the phone without first verifying whether the request is legitimate.

  • There may be legitimate reasons to modify caller ID information. For instance, police services or domestic abuse shelters can use spoofing to hide the origin of the call.

  • CRTC also published the following decisions and policy in the fight against nuisance calls:

    • Regulatory Policy setting out findings and technical solutions to protect Canadians from unsolicited and illegitimate calls
    • Decision to implement authentication and verification of caller ID information
    • Decision to implement universal call blocking
    • Report from working group on traceback process
  • The CRTC continues to work with its domestic and international partners to address unsolicited and illegitimate telemarketing calls.

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