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Can I Stop My Number from Being Spoofed?

person on phone receiving spam call

Although industry initiatives like STIR/SHAKEN call authentication have helped curtail call spoofing, it’s not always enough. In some instances, communications service providers (CSPs) can’t differentiate between legitimate and spoofed calls. This puts customers at risk of phone scams that can potentially lead to huge financial losses — and damage a company’s brand. This may also inadvertently contribute to some enterprise calls being mislabelled as spam or even blocked. According to a recent Omdia study, 93% of businesses surveyed said over 10% of their outbound calls had been blocked in the past six months. In addition, 73% said over 10% of their outbound calls were mislabeled during that same timeframe.

The good news is there are now branded calling for businesses solutions that allow enterprises to digitally authenticate their outbound calls, helping ensure each call receives the proper treatment. This is especially important for companies concerned that ‘my phone number is being spoofed’ or ‘my phone number is being used for spam calls.’ Let’s explore how branded calling works, and how it helps enterprises protect their phone numbers from fraudsters.

What if my number has been used for spoofing?

Say a business is concerned that ‘my phone number is being used by someone else.’ Solutions like Spoofed Call Protection (SCP) offer enterprises the control needed to help ensure calls are no longer spoofed — and receive the highest current STIR/SHAKEN attestation levels.

However, getting an ‘A’ attestation level can be a challenge. It’s estimated over half of business calls are not signed with an “A” attestation level. This is because attestation levels are determined by the originating service provider (OSP) that initiates the call. To determine the attestation level, the OSP considers:

  • The relationship they have with the enterprise: Is this enterprise my customer?
  • The phone number: Did I assign this telephone number to the enterprise?

A common situation is when an enterprise obtains a telephone number from a service provider other than the OSP. This often occurs with companies that utilize more than one service provider. The OSP has no way of knowing if the enterprise is authorized to use that telephone number. As a result, an enterprise call to the same customer, using the same originating number, can have different results. Fortunately, you can now obtain delegate certificates which allow enterprises to digitally sign their own calls, and authenticate outbound calls with the highest possible attestation level. This puts an element of trust back in your calls and most importantly, helps stop bad actors from spoofing your number.

To learn more about attestation levels, read the blog — What are the attestation levels for STIR/SHAKEN?

Can you block a spoofed number?

Yes. When an enterprise has implemented Spoofed Call Protection, the terminating service provider (TSP) will be able to verify the call was originated by a legitimate enterprise — tackling the risk of fraudsters spoofing those telephone numbers.

Our Spoofed Call Protection allows enterprises to digitally authenticate their outbound numbers. It also enables operators carrying calls to distinguish between legitimate and spoofed calls so they can apply proper call treatment. SCP differs from other solutions in that it does not label legitimate calls as ‘Fraudulent’— which often prompts users to block all future calls from that number (including legitimate calls from the enterprise). Instead, it gives the TSP the opportunity to block calls so they never reach users.

How to tell if your phone number is being used by someone else?

It can be difficult to know how your calls are being treated by service providers’ robocall analytics engines. Often, enterprises are unaware their numbers are being spoofed until they’re notified by their customers. Inevitably, they quickly search ‘My phone number called someone, but I didn’t call’ to learn reasons why.  

Instead of relying solely on customer complaints of not receiving calls because their phone displays read ‘unknown caller,’ ask a branded calling for businesses vendor like TransUnion if it can run a report (using phone numbers you provide) to determine how your calls are being treated. It should be able to provide you with a list of numbers that have been tagged as spam or blocked.

According to our internal statistics, close to 90% of enterprises rank the phone channel as very important to their customer experiences, but many legitimate outbound calls still aren’t getting through.

Download the eBook: 5 Reasons to Brand Your Calls to learn more about how enterprises can take control of the call experience, protect their brands, improve call answer rates and increase revenues.


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