Caller ID Spoofing: What Is It?
Caller ID spoofing is the process of displaying a phone number as caller ID to the recipient different to the one being used to make contact. Most often such activity, as well as the phrase ‘caller ID spoofing’ itself, is associated with spammers, scammers and other illicit, unsavoury activities.
When you receive spoofed calls to your personal number, it’s easy to identify when a call is not worth your time and quickly end that call. When the only time wasted is your own, this can be a nuisance, but certainly not a threat.
In the context of business, however, both real and potential damages from such calls can add up quickly. All of a sudden it’s difficult to determine whether a call is legitimately intended for someone higher up. Was a meeting really scheduled? Is this person legitimate? These aren’t always questions your first points of contact will readily be able to answer. Corroboration with colleagues might be minimally time-consuming, but is already stepping up a level in time wasted.
Not only that, but you could be looking at hefty costs in damages for your business. From wasted company time to wasted company resources spent on developing new features for non-serious imposters posing as new customers, clients or investors, spoofed calls can become considerably more damaging as the stakes increase.
Can You Trace a Spoofed Call?
Despite the relative ease with which the spoofed phone calls can be made, tracing them is considerably more difficult. Often, spoofers manage to get hold of phone numbers that aren’t in use and that are waiting to be purchased. An attempt by the suffering party to trace the call, or to return it to confront the caller, is likely only to result in contact with the range holder or current owner of the spoofed number. These parties are unlikely to have any record or knowledge of the spoofing, meaning they will be of very limited use to you.
What’s more, chasing down nuisance calls is incredibly time-consuming, meaning even law enforcement are unlikely to be able or willing to help unless there’s clear evidence of considerable damage having taken place as a result of the calls.
Still, the very real threat remains, so it’s up to you to find the means and the technology to protect your business.
Avoid Spam Calls with Call Restrictions and Screening
Most business phone systems worth their salt will give you a high level of control over the system itself. Use this control to your advantage to screen incoming phone calls to your business and, from there, to restrict or block entirely numbers you identify to be nuisance callers.
This might sound no different from manually blocking phone numbers, but intelligent VoIP phone systems and unified communications platforms allow for much more than this.
Yay.com, for example, allows its customers to restrict all international calls, or calls coming in from certain countries. It’s also possible to block all inbound anonymous calls. The real power, though, comes from restricting by number sequence. You can restrict inbound calls beginning with, ending with, or containing a particular sequence of numbers. You can, of course, specify full numbers to block outright as well.
With the dynamic power of such number recognition on your side, you’ll be able to quickly identify and restrict calls coming from any set of destinations. Just input the range of phone number prefixes into the field in your dashboard and add them to your restricted list to stop spoofers in their tracks.
Present As Another Phone Number Legitimately with Alternative Caller ID
Whilst scammers use illicit means to spoof their caller ID, it’s perfectly legal (and useful) as a business or individual to present as any phone number that you own. This gives you and your staff the freedom to call out from their personal DDI even when they’re working from home or using a device other than their VoIP desk phone in the office.
With Yay.com’s alternative caller ID feature, you can call out and present to your recipients as any phone number you can prove you own. That extends through all of the numbers you purchase from us, of course, so you’ll be able to call out as the sales department even if you work in marketing, for example. But, it also extends through phone numbers that you own from elsewhere. Allow your staff to add their personal phone numbers into the mix, or just use your own. Port phone numbers across from your previous phone system or provider and you’ll be able to use those too. You don’t have to port your numbers across to us, though, if you don’t want to. You’ll still be able to present as that phone number if you own it. You’ll just have to upload the relevant documents to your account dashboard and, once approved, those phone numbers will be added to your account to use at your leisure.
Spam calls with spoofed caller IDs are a nuisance for individuals, but they cost businesses money and can even threaten security. With limited help on offer from external sources, it’s down to you and your business phone system to protect your business’ time and wealth. A VoIP phone system like Yay.com’s will give you granular control over which ranges of numbers you allow even to call your business, whilst giving you the freedom to present as any phone number you legitimately own, from any device, through alternative caller ID functions.