TORONTO -- Canada’s telecommunications regulator is calling on telecom companies to do more to stop nuisance robocalls.

Phone companies, including Bell Canada -- the parent company of CTV News -- are required to update their networks by the end of the month, so new protections for customers can be implemented.

According to the Canadian Radio and Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), about 25 per cent of all calls made to mobile phones are robocalls.

The calls are often used in scams and there is now new technology that could block many of them before they ever get to your phone.

The CRTC wants telecom companies to implement the technology that can stop spoofed and fraudulent phone calls. It would be done at a network level so the unwanted calls would never make their way to your phone.

Technology expert Carmi Levy said this is good news for consumers who have been frustrated dealing with unwanted calls.

“This is the best possible news for consumers. For years we've been wrestling with unwanted calls to our phones and it's getting harder to tell the legitimate calls from the non-legitimate calls," said Levy.

While consumers have been able to install robocall blocking apps or call-blocking filters in the past, this new technology known as STIR/SHAKEN will stop fraudulent calls without any action from customers.

"Really it's a hands-off solution and over time, customers should notice a reduction in the volume and frequency of these calls," said Levy.

In a statement, Bell said it “supports the CRTC’s various efforts to protect Canadians from the harmful effects of nuisance, fraud and misidentified voice calling, including the November 30 implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, just one of many such protective measures. In preparation, we’ve upgraded our IP-enabled wireless and wireline networks and accelerated the delivery and testing of the necessary authentication equipment.”

Bell added, “We’ve also been running our own voluntary fraud and scam blocking trial for the past 16 months with the CRTC’s permission, voluntarily blocking verified fraud and scam calls to protect Canadians – more than 1 billion calls so far. We were also one of the first carriers to implement the CRTC’s Universal Call Blocking program which automatically blocks calls originating from non-standard phone numbers, like 222-222-2222.”

Rogers Communications said, “We know receiving unwanted calls is frustrating for our customers and we have been working closely with the CRTC and industry partners to combat them, including implementing this new feature by the end of this month to let our customers know if the caller can be trusted. This new technology is one way we are addressing unwanted calls and we continue to work on an array of solutions.”

Rogers added, “The technology, known by its acronym “STIR/SHAKEN,” will allow carriers to authenticate the caller ID information for Internet Protocol-based voice calls and inform the customer receiving the call whether the caller’s identity can be trusted. IP technology is required from end-to-end, between the originating carrier and the terminating carrier. As of November 30, compatible wireless devices will indicate to end-users which IP-based voice calls have been authenticated by the originating party (e.g. “valid number” in the call display or in the call history to indicate the caller is trusted).”

Telus told CTV News in a statement, “In addition to meeting the CRTC’s November 30 STIR/SHAKEN implementation date, in spring 2020, TELUS launched TELUS Call Control, a free feature available to all wireless customers that blocks the majority of autodialed calls. The feature requires unknown callers to listen to a brief message and manually respond with a one-digit code. The majority of nuisance calls, including scams, are generated by computer-dialers that enable spammers to dial many numbers at once and are normally unable to respond to the Call Control message.”

Telus added, “We are also helping customers protect their privacy by offering a number of tools on our website and through TELUS Wise, a free educational program that focuses on Internet and smartphone safety and security.”

During the pandemic, many call centres associated with fraudulent activities were closed, but now they're operating again.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre said Canadians lost more than 15 million dollars to the CRA phone scam and other service scams already this year.

CTV News is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE.