In 2004, Bill Gates’s email address received four million spam emails but today email doesn’t hold the same weight as ten years ago. The email spam problem is not new nor is it relevant since the development of spam filters. However, communication channels have grown far beyond email, and so has the spammer’s options to spam. One of the contributors to this is VoIP. With VoIP, phone spam is as cheap, easy, and as pervasive as email spam.
Why are VoIP lines great for spammers?
Cheap. VoIP calls are made over IP networks, bypassing the local phone companies and their fees, driving the cost of a call to zero.
Anonymous. Some VoIP line providers allow callers to configure their own caller ID information, allowing for anonymity and spoofing.
Dial in bulk. IP telephony enables bulk VoIP calling, allowing spammers to deploy a simple script that will call upwards of 1,000 numbers per second.
While IP telephony technology saves businesses and consumers money on their Telco costs; it allows for naughty numbers to emerge. Businesses with customer support departments, call centers, and inbound sales and marketing programs will continue to lose revenue from lost employee productivity due to spam calls. Using phone data, businesses can discover insights and take action based on known phone behavior and patterns to block and filter spam calls.
Just knowing the single data point of line type, such as VoIP, can reduce these spam calls. There are two types of VoIP.
Fixed VoIP: is registered with an address, and the address can be traced back to the phone line. A Fixed VoIP line is typically associated with a business or residential phone line that is serviced by a VoIP provider instead of a traditional, local phone company. Think Comcast.
Non-Fixed VoIP: is a “disposable”, internet-created phone number that can be associated with any address. The caller can register the number in a different country than the one they physically reside in.
The ability to quickly generate new numbers, spoof the caller ID information, and hide anonymously makes Non-Fixed VoIP lines ideal for spammers. Our data shows that a Non-Fixed VoIP number has a 20% higher chance of being fraudulent. Identifying a Non-Fixed VoIP inbound call in real-time allows you to pause, evaluate, and take the appropriate action.
With Whitepages Pro Phone Solutions APIs, you have the ability to identify 7 unique line types, including both VoIP types, in addition to providing a return with a real-time phone reputation level of 1 – 4. Based on our data, a level 4 phone number has a 97% likelihood of having engaged in spam-like or fraudulent behavior. Our proprietary automated algorithms track all types of phone spam and scams across 2.5 billion phone and text events a month and process over 1000 numbers per second. So as the spam and scams change, we know.