Are your customers getting calls from unknown numbers? Here’s how to fix that
Have your customers been complaining of unsolicited calls? Are your customers troubled with repeated calls from unknown numbers? Were they promised a ‘free trip’ to Las Vegas in exchange for their bank details? Did they lose money on a fraud call? And if they have, you bear some responsibility too. In fact, the scam call menace is a real threat looming on all telecom consumers, and providing a solution can help telecom companies appear responsive, customer-focused, and technologically advanced.
The state of the global telecommunications industry is always in flux with new developments and challenges appearing all the time. For instance, phone scams in the United States have skyrocketed. By one estimate, Americans receive on average 28 spam calls per month. Many, if not most, of these calls, are fraudulent.
Fraudulent calls continue to be a huge problem for telecom operators, costing them billions of dollars annually. The latest Truecaller Insights US Spam & Scam Report raised some alarming trends
- As many as 56 million Americans (22%) report having lost money as a result of phone scams in the past 12 months – up from 43 million (17%) in 2019.
- 44% of Americans have received scam calls & SMS related to COVID-19 in the past few weeks.
- As a result of losing money to a phone scam in the past 12 months, nearly half (47%) downloaded a spam blocker and/or caller ID app and 34% canceled their credit card/changed account numbers.
- Only 28% reported to any authority (e.g. police, FCC, or FTC), and 29% contacted their phone carrier.
As customer trust gets eroded rapidly, managing the threat of spam calls will need a newer strategy on the part of global telecommunication operators. No doubt, this will need more focus on executing new technology in a fool-proof manner with real-time threat analysis and response enabled.
How can telecom companies reduce calls from unknown numbers for their customers?
Telecom companies can play an important role in ensuring that their customers are free from the bother of receiving unwanted calls on their mobile phones or landline. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been pushing all telecom operators to enforce the STIR/SHAKEN framework, a new technology used by telecoms to verify spoofed phone numbers. STIR stands for the “Secure Telephone Identity Revisited” and SHAKEN for “Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs.” While the STIR/SHAKEN protocols have been around for a while now, there’s more that can be done through tech to secure this space.
So, leveraging technology can help in mitigating the growing instances of spam calls but how would this work?
This starts with operators turning to a smarter Fraud Management System. Using advanced technology and powerful tools like machine learning and blockchain, the vulnerabilities in the calling space can be mitigated with near real-time call blocking abilities.
Here are a few ways in which telecom companies can use technology to combat fraud calls:
- Profile calls with advanced machine learning methodologies
Advanced machine learning techniques help to study your historic data and develop models that can predict future outcomes. Telecom companies can apply these algorithms to their call data to fix anomalies in real-time. Backed with data, telecom companies can anticipate calls, analyze the patterns from the call data and filter fraud calls out even before they hit the consumer.
- Monitoring signaling traffic in real-time
Monitoring signaling traffic is another way in which telecom operators can put a curb on scam calls. Scanning the signaling layers for any vulnerabilities with advanced algorithms helps in arresting the impact. By monitoring signaling traffic in real-time, telecom operators can reduce the misuse of voice and SMS services. This intelligence helps greatly in reducing spoofed calls, Wangari, IRSF, etc.
- Installing Voice and SMS Firewalls
Multi-protocol Firewalls are a great way to monitor the incoming and outgoing traffic on your network. Operators can configure a powerful carrier-grade firewall with the power to subvert threats and keep their customers free from malicious calls.
- Working on Threat Intelligence
Getting access to threat hotlists can help operators in reducing unwanted calls going to their customers. Operators need to be updated in real-time with hotlists to block scam calls in real-time.
- Customer Awareness is critical
Of course, educating your customers is extremely important as a proactive step for operators to ensure they do not fall prey to scammers. Make your customers aware of the different types of spam calls and how to deal with them. Create information about threats like Wangiri, CLI Spoofing, Robocalling, etc. Operators can also run advisory messages to keep reminding the customers of not encouraging any strange calls. This effort to educate will help in improving customer experiences as well once the trust builds up.
It’s been said that this is always a game of catch up with those with malintent. As spammers become more intelligent in planning frauds, analyzing the data patterns associated with fraud calls will be the space where telecom operators can win the battle. They will need to focus on always building better solutions. Investing in intelligent technology like an advanced AI-driven tech stack is a great way forward for telecom operators to protect consumers from rising spam attacks.
In fact, one of the marks of a leading carrier is how they embed spam blocking technology into their process to help filter out potentially risky numbers. Riding on the 5G wave, a few operators are already working with Blockchain technology or the distributed ledger method to secure the telecom space and put an end to the growing fraudulent call menace.
By making use of the best available technology tools and software, operators can create the right ecosystem to protect customers from falling prey to scam calls, reduce customer churn, and deliver a higher customer retention ratio. That’s a fight worth fighting!