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Why does my phone number have a bad reputation?

iPhone showing incoming spam risk call

The perils of spam mistagging and call blocking

Enterprises and contact centers face many common hurdles when trying to reach customers. These include the need to limit calls to meet regulatory requirements, outdated CRM data, a lack of customer behavioral insights to determine the best time to call, and calls being mistakenly marked as spam or even blocked. In an attempt to overcome these issues themselves, enterprises can often make matters worse, leading to numbers having bad reputations — and consumers refusing to answer.

How prevalent is spam tagging? According to a Forrester study, 1,317 spam calls are blocked or identified every second! However, with businesses wondering, “what is branded calling?” and industry efforts to authenticate caller ID and ensure calls are tagged correctly, fewer calls get marked as spam, blocked or labeled as “Unknown.” And when branded calling for businesses leverage rich call content organizations and consumers can transact with more confidence.

To start, it's really the same as branded calling for business. But first, let's tackle spam mistagging.

Why is my business number showing up as spam?

Enterprise callers might think, “My phone number comes up as spam – now what?” Carriers employ spam analytics systems to identify and label suspicious calls for their customers that can erroneously tag their phone numbers as spam risks. These systems analyze the phone number and various factors surrounding the entire context of a call. This means multiple factors can influence call labeling, including:

  • Who is calling
  • What is known about the phone number
  • Call patterns and call volumes
  • How recipients respond to these calls

With heightened efforts to mitigate robocalls and fraud, it’s easy for legitimate calls to be marked as spam or blocked unless enterprises take the right steps to protect their brands.

Here are some ways enterprises may be making matters worse:

Using a single or very few telephone numbers (TN) for all call campaigns: You may think using fewer TNs simplifies operations and makes numbers more recognizable to consumers. But communications service providers (CSPs) and robocall analytics companies analyze each call along with its originating number. When enterprises send all calls through a single TN across a variety of call campaigns, the number doesn’t develop a consistent calling pattern and is more likely to be mistagged as spam or blocked.

Using one TN for each local calling area: Maybe you heard using a TN for each area code and exchange (NPA-NXX) makes calls appear local and therefore, more likely to be picked up. Not only is this technique expensive, but with the rise of neighborhood spoofing (i.e., fraudsters spoofing a call so it matches the recipient’s first six digits), consumers have been trained to ignore what was once a signal for a local call.

Recycling and rotating (new) TNs: Many enterprises try this method, but it’s not effective long term. While TNs may not have associated history, over time, analytics models may reapply spam tags and call blocking if the calling pattern is unknown, erratic or suspicious. New numbers can also get expensive.

Mixing inbound and outbound calls on the same TN: This seemingly simple solution (so consumers can recognize the TN) has risks. Fraudsters spoof published numbers which show a caller ID associated with the enterprise. If calls are segmented as inbound vs. outbound, illegally originated outbound calls using inbound-only numbers can be easily blocked or shut down.

Having a platform pulse out a Caller ID name: That could let you change the displayed caller ID on the calling platform. This sounds good but simply does not work. Caller ID is a termination service. The terminating carrier will ignore out-pulsed names and replace them with the name returned from a caller name (CNAM) dip.

How do I find out if a phone number is on a spam list?

Often, businesses may not even realize their calls are being blocked or tagged until they receive negative feedback from their customers. Don’t wait for a sign. Enterprises can and should check phone number reputation.

We maintain a centralized management portal to designate verified business numbers for all outbound calling for enterprises. Caller Name Optimization (CNO) also provides a way to register inbound-only numbers as Do-Not-Originate to reduce the risk of fraudsters using these numbers to make scam calls. We manage Caller ID across over 850 US carriers and are trusted by more than 8,000 leading brands and enterprises in financial services, government, healthcare, insurance and more. Inventorying the call environment is a best practice for organizations that regularly make outbound calls to consumers and customers.

What happens if your number is reported as spam?

If a business number has been reported by a consumer, future calls will be tagged as spam. After multiple reports, the number will be blocked. You can check the numbers used for outbound calling with a phone number reputation lookup.

To protect your business's call reputation, register your phone numbers and comply with laws regulating calling consumers and robocalls. Enterprises can use feedback from blocked calls to improve calling practices and enhance customer satisfaction.

How to remove my number from spam list?

Enterprises that find their numbers marked as spam should consider a Caller ID reputation service. The best practice fixes for numbers marked as spam include:

  • Verify your existing inventory of phone numbers
  • Disconnect and stop paying for numbers you never use
  • Register telephone numbers across the telecom ecosystem
  • Standardize “Calling Name” or customize per department, geography or function
  • Use TNs for similar campaigns to develop a consistent calling pattern
  • Designate inbound-only telephone numbers as Do-Not-Originate (DNO) and register them across the telecom ecosystem to block fraudulent calls originating from these numbers

Just because a number has been flagged as spam doesn’t mean it will always be flagged in the future. It’s possible to recover your call reputation. The best course of action is to employ consistent, customer-friendly calling practices to build and maintain a positive call reputation long term.

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