February 8, 2023

How DNO Registries Provide Protection Against Spoofed Calls

How DNO Registries Provide Protection Against Spoofed Calls

Call spoofing is a malicious tactic perpetrated by scammers and spammers around the world. Essentially, they use a trusted number or one that looks harmless to place their outbound calls. Consumers are more likely to answer these familiar-looking numbers, allowing bad actors access to more potential victims. 

Call spoofing has the potential to trick consumers and ruin the reputation of legitimate businesses. If they use one of your business numbers, call recipients may always associate your company with spammers. And once damaged, your reputation can be difficult to rehabilitate. 

Fortunately, new technology and protocols like STIR/SHAKEN are being used to protect customers and businesses. For instance, Do Not Originate Registries can protect your company from having your inbound numbers hijacked for unsavory purposes. 

What is a Do Not Originate Registry?

Do Not Originate (DNO) Registry is a database where you can list your company’s inbound-only numbers. This action allows carriers and analytics engines to cross-check your numbers and identify potential spoofing efforts. When a number listed in a DNO is found placing an outbound call, it is a clear indication of a spoofing attack. Since your company doesn’t use this number for outbound calls, carriers know scammers are at work. 

This process benefits government agencies like the IRS that never place outbound calls. In the past, scammers often used an actual IRS number used for inbound calls from taxpayers. Consumers would answer because they were afraid to ignore this powerful government agency. They were easier to scam because they tended to follow the “agent’s” instructions. 

Checking with a DNO used to be a voluntary procedure for carriers. But that changed when the FCC issued a mandate on Dec. 19, 2022. Since then, gateway providers have been required to block calls originating from reasonable DNO registries.

The FCC has not mandated using a particular DNO registry but has issued specific requirements. A “reasonable” DNO list can only include “ invalid, unallocated, and unused numbers” and numbers that the legal subscriber of the number has requested be blocked. Gateway providers can choose a list that works best for their networks as long as that DNO follows the FCC guidelines.

Is There a Single DNO Registry?

You need to work with a reputable DNO registry to ensure your inbound numbers are thoroughly checked against outbound calls. Currently, two major DNO registries exist, although others may be available. Smaller, less established operations may not have access to the numbers your company needs to receive a quality check. 

First Orion DNO

First Orion manages a reputable DNO trusted by many companies. Their registry allows registrants to list their inbound-only lines. Any outbound calls identified as coming from those numbers will automatically be tagged “spam likely.”

RealNumber® DNO

RealNumber’s DNO registry lets Responsible Organizations (RespOrgs) list their in-bound only numbers, including Toll-Free and 10-digit local numbers, to help stop fraud. Their process is essentially the same as First Orion’s. 

Currently, these are the most reputable DNO lists available for your use, and both follow the FCC rules.

IDT Global Recently Partners with RealNumber® DNO

In recent news, IDT Global, a major seller of DIDs, has partnered with RealNumber® DNO to help thwart spoofing attempts for their customers. This partnership means that IDT can check outbound calls against RealNumber’s DNO database of over 6 billion local and toll-free numbers in North America. This huge resource means US customers can expect increased protection against scam calls. The size of the database ensures that call spoofers will struggle to continue their illegal practices. 

The collaboration between IDT and RealNumber is just another example of why working with trusted partners is essential in the industry. Cooperation among telecommunication companies puts increased pressure on robocallers and other spammers/scammers.

Importance of DNO Registries

Call spoofing is illegal in the US, but that hasn’t stopped many robocallers. Research shows that Americans get over three scam calls a day; that number doesn’t include simple spam calls. Your company and your customers need help in battling this serious problem. 

A do not originate list is an effective tool to use against illegitimate players in the industry. When you use DNO registries, you make number spoofing more difficult. Your company, other businesses, and government agencies have numbers reserved for inbound calls. In the past, scammers frequently used these numbers to contact consumers. These numbers fool even knowledgeable call recipients. Who wouldn’t pick up a call seemingly from a local school or city office? 

Organizations that maintain in-bound only numbers can limit spoofing by registering them with a reputable DNO. If your company has not used this resource, it should do so as soon as possible.