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What does “verified by the carrier” mean on phone calls?

Person using iphone close up

Only secure, branded calls help reduce call spoofing.

The proliferation of robocalls, spammers and spoofers is taking its toll — to the tune of billions of dollars lost each year. What’s more, close to 90% of calls to customers go unanswered, leading enterprises to look for branded calling for businesses solutions to help reduce spam mistagging and blocked calls, prevent call spoofing, protect their brands and reach more customers. The most important feature of secure branded calling is the call is verified by the carrier with STIR/SHAKEN call authentication. If the call has not been verified, even with branded calling features, it’s still possible for the call to be spoofed.  

One of the first steps to understanding how does branded calling work? is tied to the role caller ID authentication plays as part of the process — and how it helps the call receiver determine what to do when asking,  why does “a verified number keep calling me?”

What do calls with checkmark verified by carrier mean?

When calls are spoofed, the recipient’s Caller ID may show the call is coming from a trusted organization like a bank or insurance provider, but it may actually be a fraudster. As a result, customers can be tricked into sharing personal information that enables fraudsters to access their devices, make purchases or even take over their financial accounts.

Caller ID Authentication leverages the STIR/SHAKEN framework to automate the end-to-end process of authenticating a call. If the signature and telephone identity are validated, a visual notification, traditionally in the form of a check mark, can be displayed to the called party, marking the call as verified.

What does a checkmark next to phone number mean?

A checkmark has been traditionally used by the industry as an indicator a call has not been spoofed. Calls with a tick, or checkmark, have been verified. This is similar to the padlock that appears on your computer’s browser navigation bar. It notifies the user there’s a secure connection between them, the site’s server and the browser. However, if there’s no checkmark next to the call, it’s possible the communications service provider (CSP) was not able to verify it — meaning it could be the work of a scammer. Bad actors may have hijacked the phone channel and used spoofing to impersonate legitimate businesses. However, not all verified calls show the checkmark.

Today, CSPs’ analytics programs consider the STIR/SHAKEN attestation level of the call, as well as call patterns and phone number attributes when applying call treatment. So, when you get a call and see a green check mark and name associated with it, you can finally feel it’s something you can trust — your CSP is telling you the call isn’t being spoofed.

What does verified by the carrier mean on iPhone?

Assigning an attestation level to a call is part of the STIR/SHAKEN requirements mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for all CSPs. STIR/SHAKEN digitally validates the handoff of phone calls passing through the complex web of networks, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify it is in fact from the number displayed on the Caller ID. Part of this verification process requires originating and terminating service providers assign an attestation rating to each call.

SHAKEN attestation is the “trust” or “proof” a call is not spoofed based on the originating service provider’s relationship to the telephone number. To learn more about call attestation levels and how the process works, check out this blog

What does a verified call mean in this context? With STIR/SHAKEN, each call goes through a series of checks and balances that designate roles, responsibilities and processes for verifying calling numbers and the exchange of call “signatures.” The SHAKEN attestation value is increasingly being used as an input to robocall analytic algorithms to determine the riskiness of a call, giving the call receiver more confidence in who is calling them.

For iPhone users, their iOS® devices currently show a checkmark in the call log to indicate the call has been verified. However, if there’s no caller ID verified by carrier on their iPhone, it doesn’t mean the call has not been verified, but consumers should be cautious about answering.

What does the green check mark mean on Android phone?

Android devices are already making inroads to inform customers, and large landline providers are delivering a [V] to their landline customers. Today, most Samsung® devices display a checkmark indicating the call has been authenticated using STIR/SHAKEN. Just like iPhone users, Android users should be cautious when answering a call when no caller ID is verified by carrier.


iphone showing branded call display

Verifying caller ID not only helps carriers block spoofed calls, it also sets the stage for providing enhanced branded communications for businesses to their customers. With the evolution of technologies, such as Rich Call Data (RCD) and programmable voice, enterprises can now display name, number, company logo and reason for their calls right on the mobile display, encouraging greater customer trust and engagement.

Learn more about Branded Call Display and download our eBook: Branded Calling: The Next Generation: what you need to know.

Do you have questions? Our team is ready to help.