As a Mobility or Home Phone service customer, you may occasionally receive phone calls from automated systems. While some of these calls are legitimate (for example, an automated appointment reminder system), many of them are unwanted automated calls that could be fraud related.
In other words, scammers manage to mask their actual phone number with a false one to trick the person on the other end of the line and avoid being traced.
In order to counter these unwanted calls, Canadian telecoms companies are implementing a variety of solutions to detect suspicious callers and then block them.
What is Universal Call Blocking?
To support the fight against telephone fraud, the Canadian telecommunications industry has been gradually implementing Universal Call Blocking since November 4, 2019.
This feature is designed to automatically block calls that do not comply with the official format of a telephone number, network wide.
According to the International Numbering Plan, an international telephone number:
- Cannot have more than 15 digits
According to the North American Numbering Plan, a North American telephone number:
- Is made up of 10 digits, according to the national format, or starts with 1 followed by 10 numbers, according to the international format
- Has a valid area code (the first three digits) that doesn’t start with 0 or 1, or end with 11
- Contains a valid subscriber number (the 7 digits following the area code), meaning it doesn’t begin with 0 or 1
The international format, which essentially adds the country code (+1) before the 10-digit number, is mandatory for cross-border calling, but is also increasingly used for domestic calling.
Example of Universal Call Blocking
Consider the following example: you are a Videotron customer and an ill-intentioned person tries to call you, but their number isn’t compliant with the standards mentioned above. It could be a number like 1234, 012-345-6789, 611-234-5678, or 514-023-5678.
Result: the call will be blocked and you will never receive it. You will be protected from this unwanted call.
What to do if a legitimate call is blocked by mistake?
Following in Videotron’s footsteps, other Canadian telecoms companies are getting on the Universal Call Blocking wagon. This blocking feature is automated, based on static and well-defined rules. It would be possible, but highly unlikely, that a legitimate call gets blocked.
If a person that you know tries to call you but the call doesn’t go through, or if you’re unable to reach a subscriber from another service provider (no dial tone or message can be heard), you can contact our Technical Support.
To investigate, the Technical Support representative will need the full phone number of the person who made the call and the destination number, as well as the date and approximate time the call that didn’t connect was placed.
Have questions about Universal Call Blocking?
We invite you to learn more about the solutions available to you for unwanted calls and scams here:
CRTC: Telemarketing and unwanted calls