May 17, 2023

How Neighbor Spoofing Degraded Consumer Trust

How Neighbor Spoofing Degraded Consumer Trust

Number spoofing, a form of “caller ID spoofing,” is a strategy scammers use to reach their targets. When scammers use number spoofing, they falsify their number information to make calls look like they come from a trusted person or organization. For example, someone might spoof a hospital’s phone number because they know the typical person will feel compelled to answer the phone.

Neighbor spoofing uses a similar tactic to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. And it could damage your business’s reputation, making it harder for you to connect with leads, prospects, and existing customers.

What Is Neighbor Spoofing?

Neighbor spoofing is a scammer’s method for making phone calls appear as if they’re coming from local callers when they are actually coming from afar. Some of the more advanced neighbor spoofing tactics do more than just mimic the target’s area code — they include the first three numbers of the phone number as well.

While you might not answer a call from an unknown number outside of your area code, it’s harder to ignore one that appears to be local. In your mind, you can come up with numerous reasons an unfamiliar person or business in your area might want to call you. Perhaps a friend changed their number. Or maybe your doctor’s office wants to confirm an appointment. There are abundant reasons why a person might want to answer such a call. The scammers count on this.

The Dangers of Neighbor Spoofing

Caller ID authentication that uses the STIR/SHAKEN framework has helped stop many scammers from reaching potential victims. Still, the FCC and phone service providers have a lot of work ahead of them before they can eliminate all number spoofing, neighbor spoofing, and similar scams.

In 2022, Americans lost about $65 billion to robocall scams. On average, phone scams cost their victims $1,400. The typical person simply cannot afford to lose that much money to a scam. Consider that the average baby boomer has less than $4,500 in savings. Within that financial context, a $1,400 loss is devastating.

The Importance of Ethical Dialing

Not surprisingly, consumers have become increasingly wary of answering calls from unknown locals, even when they appear to have local origins. Illegal calling practices have degraded public trust so much that plenty of people will report any number they suspect comes from a scammer. Unfortunately, that could mean calls from legitimate businesses get flagged or blocked by carriers.

While you can’t prevent people from reporting your number to third-party apps, you can follow ethical dialing practices to lower the risk of getting flagged or blocked.

Some of the most important steps to take include:

Complying With All Regulations

Always follow federal and industry regulations. Federal rules include calling during reasonable hours and disclosing the purpose of each call.

Industry rules can vary significantly depending on the services you offer. For example, anyone working in the healthcare sector needs to comply with HIPAA regulations. Failing to follow regulations makes it more likely that people will report your number.

Training Agents Properly

Train agents to use empathy when talking to leads. Consumers who feel disrespected are more likely to report your number.

Also, teach your agents to use scripts properly. In most cases, that means training them to acknowledge when the consumer doesn’t want to keep talking. At that point, they can use an exit script to leave a positive impression before ending the conversation.

Using Legitimate Lead Lists

Legitimate lead lists should only include the numbers of people interested in your product or service. Even when buying lead lists from reputable sources, make sure you scrub them to remove inaccurate information and numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

If you need help scrubbing your lists, DialRight Calling List Hygiene can do the hard work for you.

Registering CNAM Data

Registering your phone numbers with carriers helps ensure the correct information appears on caller ID screens. You can also take advantage of enhanced caller ID features to display your logo, location, reason for calling, and other information that might encourage consumers to answer.

Following Proper Dialing Habits

Proper dialing habits include avoiding power dialers and limiting the number of calls you make from the same number per hour and day.

What counts as proper dialing habits may differ from carrier to carrier. The rules can also evolve over time. Caller ID Reputation’s Device Cloud service shows you what appears on caller ID screens when you dial someone. If your numbers ever pick up negative labels or flags, you will know about it as soon as possible.

Why Caller ID Accuracy Matters

Caller ID accuracy helps you make a positive first impression when contacting new leads. Position your agents for success by ensuring caller ID screens display accurate information about your organization. Any inaccuracy — even a misspelling in your business name — could make your call look like a scam attempt to wary consumers.

Caller ID Reputation can help you monitor your phone numbers to ensure accuracy and inform you when they incur labels, flags, or blocks. Sign up for a free 5-day trial to see how Caller ID Reputation can improve your outreach efforts.