Universal call blocking

As a landline or mobile phone service subscriber, you get all kinds of calls. The majority of them are legitimate; they come from family, friends, and colleagues. Others come from automated systems; even though some are honest calls (automated appointment reminders, for instance), a large number of them are unwanted and might actually be fraud related.  

Scammers are quite innovative when it comes to luring in their victims. Among other tricks, they tend to lean into Caller ID spoofing, which involves masking their actually phone number with a false one to trick the person on the other end of the line and avoid being traced.  

Canadian telecoms companies are working hard to counter such unwanted calls. They’ve implemented a variety of solutions to detect suspicious callers and then block them. For several years now, Videotron’s wireline customers have had several means of protection at their disposal, like Anonymous Call Rejection (*87) and Phone Number Blocking (*60) These tools have proved quite useful, but they’re no silver bullet. 

To further support the fight against telephone fraud, the Canadian telecommunications industry will gradually implement universal call blocking as of November 4, 2019. The feature is designed to automatically block calls it receives that do not comply with international numbering plan standards—network wide. The international plan allows for a maximum of 15 numbers. The North American version stipulates that a North American number:

  1. is made up of 10 numbers, preceded by the country code (1), in compliance with the international standard (country code (i.e. +1) before the 10-digit number for cross-border calling, but also increasingly for domestic calling); 
  2. has a valid area code (the first three numbers) that doesn’t start with 0 or 1, or end with 11. 
  3. contains a valid subscriber number (the 7 digits following the area code), meaning it doesn’t begin with 0 or 1.

For instance, the following numbers would automatically be blocked: 1234,
012-345-6789, 611-234-5678 and 514-023-5678.

Consider the following example: you’re a Videotron customer and an ill-intentioned person tries to call you, but their number isn’t compliant with the standards mentioned above. Result: the call will be blocked, protecting you from another unwanted call. 

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’s possible, but highly unlikely, that a legitimate call gets blocked. If a person that you know (legitimate call) tells you that they’re trying to call you but it 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 report the issue to Videotron’s Technical Support team at 1-877-512-8590. To investigate, the Technical Support Advisor 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. 

We invite you to learn more about the solutions available to you for unwanted calls and scams here: CRTC’s telemarketing and unwanted calls page and North American numbering plan site.

Soutien Affaires > Universal call blocking