Have you ever noticed the caller ID on your phone reads spam? If you’ve seen this, you’ve likely not picked up the call, preventing you from speaking to someone who is trying to retrieve valuable or sensitive information. Call blocking is a feature that’s meant to protect you and your assets, but in some cases it can harm businesses that are trying to execute their daily professional tasks.
How Are Carriers Able to Block Calls
Carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have begun blocking calls if they appear unwanted or fraudulent by implementing call blocking campaigns. If these calls fit into categories such as having a high number of calls being sent from a unique phone number or short duration calls from a single number, then they will get marked as spam. In many cases, carriers are also using third party applications to verify the reputation of phone numbers.
How Call Blocking Impacts Your Business
If your business is focused on making sales calls or repeatedly contacting customers for appointments or services, or even sending weather alerts or notifications, then you’re at risk for getting labeled as spam. While these may be legitimate reasons for your business operation, anything sent in large quantities can give the appearance of illegal activity.
Phone number spoofing is another technique that scammers use to gain information. They will hide their identity by taking a reputable business phone number and use it to make fraudulent calls. As a business owner, you’re likely focused on making sure your customers have a positive experience with your brand. Since it can be difficult to know if your number has been used for spoofing, by the time you realize your number was stolen, your brand’s reputation may have turned negative in addition to call blocking and multiple other problems.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Business: Whitelist Phone Number
It’s important and highly recommended that you take the necessary steps to protect your business. You will need to register your number with the major caller ID reputation registries and request whitelisting of legitimate outbound calling from each wireless carrier. Whitelisting is a list of officially registered numbers that bypass the carriers’ spam filter allowing your business calls or messages to pass through. Requests should be submitted to each of these parties:
- AT&T/ Call Protect/ HIYA
- Verizon/ TNS
- T-Mobile/ First Orion/ PrivacyStar
- Free Call Registry: This link allows you to register to First Orion, Hiya, and Transaction Network Services in one location. These carriers came together to make it easier for you to whitelist your business number. If nothing else, start here!
You should also implement general business rules or strategies for preventing call blocking and spoofing.
- Employees should responsibly call sales leads, customers, or patients: Calls should not be placed to the same phone number a significant amount of times per day.
- Clients should be able to reach you if they call back: A caller may want to verify your business and identity before releasing important information. If your number is spoofed, callers may reach out and report it directly to you.
How We’re Helping To Prevent Call Blocking
At Rhode Island Telephone, we’ve been working to have the latest authentication technology in place to prevent call blocking for our customers by utilizing STIR/SHAKEN protocols. While it might sound like we’re busy making a fancy cocktail, STIR/SHAKEN stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN). It’s a set of standards or protocols outlined by the FCC that verifies calls made within a network and provides them with a trusted certificate, which helps to reduce fraudulent robocalls and prevents your business from being labeled as spam.
If you’re one of our monthly phone service customers, then you’re already receiving this added protection through us. We sign all our customers outbound calls with the highest attestation trust level. However, you should still take the time to register your business phone number with the carriers listed above. Registering your number at the links above can prevent you from being blocked and it’s a very simple step that you can take yourself.
Technology is developing quickly and that means rules and regulations can change often. We know your business phone is one of the most important pieces to running a successful business and we will always provide you with the latest updates and ways to maintain a secure phone system. If you’re interested in upgrading your phones or moving to a monthly service plan so you don’t have to worry about managing your system, please contact our support team for more information.