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Months after new regulations, Manitobans still inundated with scam calls

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Months after new regulations, Manitobans still inundated with scam calls
It's been more than three months since Canadian phone companies were required to use new technology to prevent scam calls. But as Abigail Turner explains, it seems those new measures aren't working as well as they should be. – Mar 25, 2022

It’s been more than three months since the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) required new technology to prevent scam calls.

But it seems those measures aren’t working as well as they should be for many Manitobans, including Matthew Hicks.

“It’s very frustrating, it happens about, oh I would say every ten minutes,” Hicks told Global News.

The new technology called STIR/SHAKEN was put in place in December to flag spam calls, however many Manitobans have still seen a rise in suspicious callers.

Read more: Reality check: Will CRTC’s new tech to fight spam calls actually work?

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“My coworkers are saying, ‘Who’s calling you at this time and for this many times?'”

Rebecca Hadfield is another Winnipegger who says her phone has been inundated with calls as well.

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“it can be two calls a day…it can be five to six,” Hadfield says.

While she’s able to realize they’re fake, she worries for vulnerable people like seniors.

“A lot of the time when you get spam emails you can pretty much tell by the language or by the spelling mistakes, but I could see someone falling into this trap.”

Read more: New technology will help fight spam calls, CRTC says

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Winnipeg police say during tax season, they see a rise in scammers pretending to be from Canada Revenue Agency — something Hadfield has also noticed.

“Lately the calls have been from ‘Service Canada’ saying that my social insurance number has been cancelled,” she says.

But those types of calls were supposed to have dramatically decreased, after the CRTC’s new technology was implemented, says cybersecurity and tech analyst, Ritesh Kotak.

“When we figure out a way to stop one element that these fraudsters leverage for one of their tools, they figure out other ways to circumvent the system and that’s kind of what we’re seeing now,” says Kotak

He says the government needs to realize it’s not a “one size fits all” solution.

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“We need to continually invest we need to have much more agile systems, for example, if we discover something we should be able to patch that vulnerability up relatively quickly instead of it being a long drawn out process.”

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