TORONTO — Canada’s telecom companies say they’re close to fully implementing new technologies they hope will combat a recent surge of spam calls — including some that pretend to be from government agencies or police.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has given the industry until Dec. 19 to come up with the means to block illegal caller identifications that mask the true origin of the call.

Bell Canada and Rogers say they will have a broad solution for blocking blatantly illegal caller identifications in place by the Dec. 19 deadline, while Telus Corp. says it will have a more tailored response.

The CRTC has acknowledged a recent outbreak of robocalls in which fraudsters use a technique known as spoofing that mimics the caller IDs of CRA, Service Canada and other agencies in an effort to coerce Canadian residents into settling bogus tax or legal issues.  

A CRTC statement says there are a number of technical reasons for the proliferation, including the legitimate use of voice-over-internet telephone services and business practices that may alter caller identification information.

It also says Canadians should receive fewer unwanted calls after the new safeguards are in place next month but adds it’s working on rolling out further measures in co-operation with domestic carriers and other jurisdictions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2019.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BCE, TSX:T, TSX:RCI.B)

The Canadian Press

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