Is your business bombarded with spam calls daily?
You’re not alone. Unwanted legal and illegal telemarketing calls affect millions of businesses worldwide. If you have business information posted anywhere online or in print, spammers will reach you given enough time. The situation has gotten so bad that of all the call complaints reported to the FCC, four million or a whopping 66% belonged to robocalls.
There’s no way around it: spam calls such as spoofed calls, robocalls, solicitation, and fake calls are a global nuisance.
Not all spam calls are bad, though. Some forms of legal spam calls can be helpful at times, such as a robocall informing people of canceled flights or school updates, but these are exceptions to the rule. But the majority of unwanted calls are just plain annoying and downright dangerous when criminals are behind them. Some spam calls can lead to identity theft and fraud.
Whether it’s a telemarketing cold call or a fraudster trying to dupe you, here are a few tips on how to stop spam calls from disrupting your business.
Tip 1: Filter Calls By Using Reverse Phone Lookup
When a call comes in, and the caller ID shows it as an unknown number, you can bet the farm it’s a spam call. To filter your calls, do a reverse phone lookup before answering to find out who’s calling you. Find a reputable company that offers phone lookup services, and keep a list of all the numbers you have uncovered. Instruct all your staff to run all unknown numbers through the facility before picking up.
Tip 2: Turn on Call Blocking on Your Phone or Use an App
If you’re getting spam calls on your smartphone, iOS and Android has free and built-in settings that can block unwanted calls. All you need to do is go to settings and turn this feature on. However, turning on call blocking won’t discriminate and will block all callers as long as they use an unknown number. This blanket ban on calls can be troublesome if you’re expecting a ring from someone not in your contacts.
The workaround here is using an app to filter and block calls on your phone. These apps will reveal who’s calling you and block potential calls from suspected fraud numbers. Some are free but offer limited functionality.
Tip 3: Use the FCC’s Do Not Call Registry
Yes, the FCC’s donotcall.gov service is still around and pretty useful. You’ll need to register all the numbers you use for business, whether it’s a mobile phone or a landline. The service adds your numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry and can reduce the frequency of spam calls disrupting your business. You can also report unwanted calls using the same service about a month after you register your business phone numbers.
Tip 4: SHAKEN/STIR
The FCC mandated that all service providers must validate a call at the network level to verify its legitimacy. Called “Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited standard” or SHAKEN/STIR for short, the service allows providers to stop spam calls before they reach a subscriber.
Most phone carriers block spam calls by default, or at the very least, use a service that screens the calls for you. Contact your provider for more details about what they offer because some of them offer paid upgrades to the existing option.
Tip 5: Stay Informed
Please educate yourself on the latest scams and cases of fraud that hit businesses so you can better prepare your staff to handle them. Cybersecurity blogs and forums are the best resources for this type of information.
Make it a Top Priority to Avoid Spam Calls
Spam calls are annoying and disruptive, not to mention dangerous gateways to fraud. If you run a company, avoiding and limiting spam calls should be on the top of your list, on equal footing with cybersecurity. The wasted time and effort of answering an unwanted phone call can add up and put a dent in your productivity. With the tips and resources mentioned above, you can stop spam calls from bothering you and your employees.
About the author: Ben is a Web Operations Executive at InfoTracer who takes a wide view from the whole system. He authors guides on entire security posture, both physical and cyber. Enjoys sharing the best practices and does it the right way!