Canadians have had to deal with scammers pretending to be calling from the Canada Revenue Agency for months. Now, something is going to be done about it. Canada's scam call problem will be curbed by new rules for phone companies from the CRTC.

Starting December 19, Canadian phone companies are required to have new call-blocking software that will completely shut out scam callers.

Specifically, the software will register when a number has more than 15 digits or is a number that cannot be dialled. Those calls will then be blocked from reaching any of the company's customers.

Some companies already offer comprehensive call-filtering services, and will not need to implement the new call-blocking software.

"With the implementation of a call-blocking system, calls that are malformed will be stopped within the network," Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC, said in a press release, "With the implementation of a call-blocking system, calls that are malformed will be stopped within the network."

However, spoofed calls, where scammers make it look like they are calling from a legitimate number, won't necessarily be stopped by the measures being implemented today.

Phone companies are working with the CRTC to develop a system that will block spoofed calls, but the deadline isn't until September 30, 2020.

For the time being, scammers may still find a way to reach Canadians on their phones.

"There are always scammers trying to find new ways to infiltrate and take advantage of consumers out there," Robert Ghiz, president of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, told CBC News.

"There's always going to be new mechanisms that we're going to have to put in place to deal with these things."

The CRTC, as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, recommends that you never provide any personal information over the phone. If you're not sure if the request is legitimate, there are ways to verify that you are being called by an actual government official.

In November, an entire scam call operation was shut down in India, with police making 32 arrests.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.


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