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Home News CRTC reducing unsolicited and illegitimate calls to Canadians

CRTC reducing unsolicited and illegitimate calls to Canadians


OTTAWA and GATINEAU, QC – The CRTC are offering Canadians a higher level of protection by implementing a system to block calls within their networks.

Telecommunications service providers must implement this system by December 19, 2019. This system identifies calls with caller identification (caller ID) information that either exceeds 15 digits or does not conform to a number that can be dialled (for example, 000-000-0000) which will be blocked before reaching the subscriber.

Providers that currently offer their subscribers call-filtering services, which are more advanced call-management features, will not have this obligation.

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“The CRTC is taking a variety of actions to tackle nuisance calls. We are confident that this latest decision will help reduce the number of illegitimate calls Canadians are forced to deal with regularly. A call-blocking system will provide them with an additional level of protection, while ensuring they continue to receive legitimate calls, and encourage providers to continue their work on this issue.” said Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC.

  • Caller ID spoofing occurs when callers hide or misrepresent their identity by displaying fictitious phone numbers when making calls.
  • 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.
  • Voice over Internet Protocol services and spoofing technology give calling parties the ability to display any caller identification information. Rogue actors can conceal their true identity or deceive Canadians into believing that the call is from a known or trusted caller.
  • Filtering services would provide consumers with optional services that could take certain actions to manage suspect nuisance calls on their behalf.
  • The Commission directed telecommunications service providers to track the number of customer complaints they receive regarding nuisance calls.
  • This decision is part of an array of measures tackling nuisance and unsolicited calls. The CRTC also published the following decision in the fight against nuisance calls: 2016-442 and 2018-32.
  • The CRTC continues to work with its domestic and international partners to address unsolicited and illegitimate telemarketing calls.

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