Why Spoofed Phone Numbers Will Make You Lose Sales

Kixie Team
Why Spoofed Phone Numbers Will Make You Lose Sales | Telephones for business

Phone calls remain an important tool for businesses when it comes to their B2B sales efforts. By calling their prospects, companies are able to build relationships and personalize outreach in ways that cannot be done through email or other methods of communication. This gives them the chance to make a powerful first impression and better gauge the interests of their prospects. It also allows them to ask questions directly in order to uncover needs and establish trust, giving them a greater opportunity to close the sale.

However, there are many regulations that govern making phone calls and sending SMS messages to consumers. It’s imperative that businesses adhere to these rules, otherwise, they could face significant legal ramifications. One of the most common (yet often illegal!) practices when it comes to phone sales is the use of spoofed phone numbers. In this article, we’ll describe what spoofed phone numbers are, when and why they are illegal in the US, how they work, and legal alternatives your business can rely on instead.

What is Phone Number Spoofing?

Phone number spoofing is the act of disguising a phone call or text message to make it appear as though it is coming from a different phone number or entity. This can be done using caller ID masking technology that allows a person or business to change the outgoing caller ID, thus making the recipient believe that their call or text is from someone else.

Often it is used for malicious purposes such as phishing and other scams, however, some well-intentioned companies may use spoofed phone numbers for sales and marketing activities without realizing it is illegal to do so.

If someone is spoofing a phone number to contact their prospects, it can damage the credibility of the business and make prospects hesitant to trust them. Moreover, if the prospects receive multiple calls from different spoofed numbers, it may lead to confusion and an increased likelihood of a prospect blocking your number, which could also lead to lost sales.

Is Phone Number Spoofing Illegal?

The legality of phone number spoofing can vary depending on the circumstances and the country or region in which it occurs. In many cases, however, phone number spoofing is illegal, particularly if it is done with the intent to defraud, deceive, or harass others. For example, in the United States, the Truth in Caller ID Act makes it illegal to spoof a phone number with the intent to deceive or defraud others.

There may be exceptions to this law for legitimate purposes, such as a business displaying a toll-free phone number on caller ID instead of its main line. As always, it is important to consult with local laws and regulations to determine the legality of phone number spoofing in a particular jurisdiction.

Phone number spoofing is illegal when used to defraud or scam another person, especially out of money or sensitive information. Fraudulent activity related to phone number spoofing can result in both state and federal charges being brought against the perpetrator. Additionally, some states have laws prohibiting any type of caller ID manipulation for any purpose.

How are Phone Numbers Spoofed?

There are several methods used to spoof phone numbers, including:

  1. Caller ID spoofing: This method involves manipulating the information sent through the Caller ID system to display a fake number on the recipient’s phone. This can be done using specialized software or through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. Caller ID spoofing is not necessarily illegal, but businesses should be sure to check local regulations to see if this type of phone number spoofing is allowed in their area of operation. There are also various mobile apps available that allow users to spoof their phone numbers, often for legitimate purposes such as protecting privacy or avoiding harassment. However, these apps can also be used for malicious purposes.
  2. SIM card spoofing: This illegal method involves fraudulently gaining access to an existing SIM card to display a real but stolen number when making calls. This may allow scammers to gain access to the personal information of the individual from which the SIM card was stolen.
  3. PBX hacking: This illegal method involves hacking into a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system, which is used by businesses to manage their internal phone systems, and using it to make outbound calls with a stolen number. Often times these hackers will aim to make a profit through international calls or scamming people into giving them money under the guise of a legitimate business.

Legal Alternatives to Phone Number Spoofing

There are several measures that businesses can take to prevent phone number spoofing and protect themselves and their customers. One of the most effective ways is to implement Caller ID authentication technologies, such as STIR/SHAKEN, which verify the authenticity of caller ID information and ensure that calls are coming from legitimate sources.

Many cloud-based phone providers, such as Kixie, will offer STIR/SHAKEN compliant phone numbers in order to stay compliant with FCC regulations. Additionally, using a cloud-based or VoIP phone system lowers the chance of a business becoming the target of PBX hacking, since VoIP software systems are routinely updated with new security measures.

Additionally, if your B2B business relies heavily on outbound sales calls and you are looking for a way to increase pickup rates without using phone number spoofing, you may want to try local presence dialing. Unlike phone number spoofing, local presence dialing uses a pool of real, local numbers to choose from when you’re calling out to prospects. The software automatically chooses a local number that matches the area code of the prospect you are calling. As you can imagine, people are much more likely to answer the phone if they think they know the person or business calling (or at least where the business is located).

Final Thoughts

Phone number spoofing can be a powerful tool, but it is also illegal in many cases. Fortunately, there are alternatives that businesses can use to protect their customers and prevent malicious actors from spoofing phone numbers.

From using local presence dialing with real phone numbers to implementing cloud-based or VoIP systems with better security measures, these solutions provide an effective way of ensuring your business remains compliant with regulations while still being able to reach out and connect with potential customers.

With the right approach and technology, you can keep your sales efforts safe while giving prospects peace of mind when they receive calls from you.

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