How STIR/SHAKEN Will Stop You from Being Marked as Spam

Have you been told that your Caller ID shows up as “Scam Likely” and scaring away potential leads? You are not alone. It’s a frustrating story we’ve heard too many times. Businesses feel helpless against mobile carriers who have tried to course-correct against illegal robocallers, but have swung the pendulum so far that legitimate business calls can not be completed. But now there is hope!

For a long time the FCC has been creating regulation and increasing punitive action against illegal robocalls, including record-breaking fines for spam call violations. In 2019, they voted to unanimously to allow carriers to block any robocalls by default. The challenge for carriers has been to determine what is a legal call versus an illegal one, and unfortunately many companies – especially those using VoIP, approximately 1/3 of all U.S. businesses – got unfairly blocked from reaching their prospective clients with genuine business deals.

Now, technology is catching up that will allow the good guys to continue forward without the risk of being unduly marked as “Scam Likely” on Caller ID.  It’s called STIR/SHAKEN and here is a quick primer for how it works.


No, it’s not a martini drink order… it’s a technological security layer that helps verify that the call is originating from where it says it is. The term STIR/SHAKEN is actually an acronym that stands for “Secure Telephone Identity Revisited” and “Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs.”  Its primary focus is to prevent Caller ID spoofing so call recipients can make better informed decisions about which phone calls to answer and which to ignore.

How does STIR/SHAKEN work?

Through the STIR/SHAKEN protocol, each phone number will be given a certification of authenticity. When a receiving carrier gets your phone call, it will quickly validate the Caller ID against the certificate information. If it matches, the call will go through. If the information does not match, the “Scam Likely” label will be applied and the individual will be able to make the decision whether to accept the call or not.

How will STIR/SHAKEN make business easier?

The most important thing that STIR/SHAKEN will do for legitimate businesses is to build a sense of trust as soon as the phone rings. Knowing that you are who you say you are gives confidence to your leads and prospects that you are an honest player. It will separate you from the bad players and bolster your reputation for legitimacy.

Further, STIR/SHAKEN will give you peace of mind that a scammer isn’t spoofing calls using your number, marring your reputation beyond your control.

How do I make sure my phone number is not marked as spam?

As part of STIR/SHAKEN, you will be able to add your phone numbers to “white lists” that the major carriers will use. There are third party resources who are helping to manage these White List Directories, such as Call Transparency.

While it may be time consuming to get all of your business numbers entered, it is well worth it, as it can be difficult to get your phone number cleared once it has been marked as spam.

When will smrtPhone be implementing STIR/SHAKEN?

We are currently in the process of building our Trust Center, which will become a hub for you to manage your phone number reputation. Included will be information and registration for STIR/SHAKEN and A2P 10DLC, as they roll out.

As of May 14, 2021, we are still waiting for information from carriers as to how they would like us to move forward with certifying phone numbers and passing that information through the STIR/SHAKEN protocol. We anticipate there will be major movement in the coming weeks, with completion some time Summer 2021.

Rest assured that this is a top priority for us, and as soon as the technical specs are available we will be connecting our systems. And we will be keeping you informed every step of the way!

For more information on other phone number security measures and smrtPhone how-to resources, check out our online resource library