How Businesses are Fighting Back Against Phone Spam

After a busy day filled with meetings, you're finally back at your desk and ready to dig into a high-priority project. The phone rings, interrupting your train of thought. You look at the caller ID — it's not a number you recognize. Is it more phone spam? All your colleagues seem to be getting a lot of dodgy phone calls lately, and they're beginning to affect everyone's focus.

It's not just your imagination. Fraudulent phone calls are a growing problem, but your business can fight back with a cloud communications platform.

Phone Spam: a Growing Problem

Spam calls, also known as robocalls, are on the rise. According to Yahoo Finance, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 3.4 million robocall complaints in 2016. This year, they've already logged more than 3.5 million complaints just between January and August. Robocalls cost American people hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and although the FTC is punishing American offenders, the long arm of the law can't easily reach scammers based overseas.

These calls aren't just annoying; they're illegal scams designed to get personal information or money from callers. They can negatively impact your business productivity and cause serious grief for your company and its employees.

Scammers will use automated software to make a series of calls from different numbers, sometimes multiple times a day, interrupting your workflow. Some calls may even appear to originate from your area code and include the prefix to your phone number. That's not a coincidence, of course: Scammers use this technique to get higher response rates. They can even spoof legitimate phone numbers to trick people into thinking calls are safe.

Some cloud-based communications platforms offer phone spam prevention tools that screen all incoming calls for possible spam, displaying "suspected spam" warnings on an employee's caller ID if they find a match.

If you answer a suspicious call (which you shouldn't do), you may hear a pause before a recording tells you about some urgent matter requiring your immediate action. You might end up talking to a live person, or a sophisticated artificial intelligence programmed to have natural conversations. Scammers may try to get their targets to say "yes" so they can use the recordings as voice authorization for credit card charges.

It only takes a few successful cons to give scammers a satisfactory return on their investment. And as The New York Times reports, these exploits are expected to become more sophisticated in the near future, integrating email, phone calls, and social media in a synchronized effort to bilk even more victims. Thankfully, there are ways for businesses to deal with this growing menace.

Fight Back with Cloud Communications

If you're tired of scam calls impacting business productivity and your bottom line, there's good news: You can fight back. Some cloud-based communications platforms offer phone spam prevention tools that screen all incoming calls for possible spam, displaying "suspected spam" warnings on an employee's caller ID if they find a match. Your busy staff can get a better sense of which calls are legitimate before they decide whether to pick up the phone.

These anti-spam features are also available on mobile and desktop applications, enabling professionals to communicate with confidence from any device and any location. In addition to individual employee extensions, these spam prevention tools also work for call center extensions.

A spam prevention tool allows your business to more efficiently identify and filter potential spam calls, which means your employees won't have to waste nearly as much time dealing with these intrusive scams. The solution also indicates all spam-associated numbers, which users can then add to a call block list to further cut down on any unwanted calls. This feature works for both employee extensions and call centers, empowering individual employees and teams to recover lost productivity by reducing annoying robocalls.

Unwanted telemarketing and scam calls sure are aggravating, but businesses don't have to put up with this drain on office productivity any longer. Thanks to smart technology that blocks incoming robocalls from known scammers and highlights suspected spam calls for screening, businesses can fight back against scammers — and win.

Contact Vonage Business to learn more about how cloud-based communications and products such as Spam Shield.

Rose de Fremery
Rose de Fremery Contributor

Rose de Fremery is a New York-based writer and technologist. She is the former Managing Editor of The Social Media Monthly, the world’s first and only print magazine devoted to the social media revolution. Rose currently blogs about business IT topics including VoIP, UC, CRM, business innovation, and telework for Ziff-Davis as well as HP’s Tektonika program, HP Innovation Journal, HP Channel, Intel, and Vonage’s content marketing program.

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