Preventing Spam Calls to Businesses

Time to read
3 minutes
Read so far

Preventing Spam Calls to Businesses

Telemarketers interrupt the workday and prevent genuine customers and business partners from getting through, affecting the bottom line. That’s why companies should block spam calls. Here’s how to do it.

How Can Companies Know if a Call Is Not Legitimate?

Businesses often can’t tell which calls are legitimate since people can spoof numbers and fake caller identification. The most common way to prevent this is by listing work phone numbers on the Do Not Call registry. Still, some organizations already engage in illegal calling practices and will continue to attempt contact.

Generally, employees should only answer unknown or unexpected callers if their role relies on doing so. Nothing positive can come from staying on the phone with someone with nefarious or hidden intentions.

How Can Businesses Block Workplace Spam Calls?

Businesses can rely on their IT department to block workplace spam. Since telemarketers and scammers can call millions in mere minutes with auto-dialers, the best approaches leverage technology for detection and prevention.

1. Trace Spoofed Numbers

Tracing spoofed numbers blocks spam at the source. It also helps regulatory agencies by giving them insight into potentially illegal or nefarious activity. While it’s effectively impossible to trace spoofed numbers directly, businesses can contact their telecom provider or call the number while it rings to see if it’s engaged. 

2. Use a Third-Party Application

Third-party applications are valuable tools for spam prevention. They’re often ideal for smaller businesses with few resources since they can outsource most of the work. Also, many have multiple uses. For example, some reverse lookup applications are communal, allowing companies to produce an up-to-date data set on well-known spam.

3. Automatically Screen Calls

Businesses can use interactive voice response (IVR) to screen calls automatically. It relies on predetermined rules to block, reroute or restrict incoming calls. For example, a client would listen to a prerecorded message and press a number on their phone to transfer to a customer support agent.

While telemarketers and scammers can still get around this technology, it’s incredibly effective at robocall prevention. Auto-dialers aren’t complex enough to navigate an options menu and can’t speak when verbal responses are required.

IT professionals can add variables to the IVR to make the process more accurate. For example, they could have it disconnect calls if it detects no response after the initial communication prompt. It’s a simple tool that can be incredibly effective in certain situations.

4. Utilize Third-Party Data

Even though scammers and telemarketers often change or spoof their numbers, many keep calling with the same one. Third-party data can help a business build a call-filtering device or help support its other technology. Many data sets are available online at no cost. For instance, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission provides public consumer complaint details for anyone to access. 

5. Leverage Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is one of the best methods at an IT department’s disposal because it automatically makes data-driven decisions without human intervention. Since it can learn from its interactions, it will better detect and prevent spam calls with time.

Businesses that don’t have the resources to produce their own AI can utilize one of the dozens of available applications. For example, one existing filtering provider uses GPT-4 to intercept spam calls better. It relies on machine learning to categorize speech patterns, making robocall identification much more accurate.

While this particular application of the technology is niche, proof-of-concept already exists. One computing alumnus from Georgia Tech found a way to utilize natural language processing to detect and prevent incoming spam calls, blocking 95% of auto-dialers and 75% of targeted robocalls.

6. Block Repeat Callers

While spoofed numbers are standard, many spam calls come from telemarketers who aren’t willing to take no for an answer. They repeatedly call to meet their quota since they know someone will be on the other end of the line. In response, businesses should outright block them.

Those using landlines instead of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can purchase and install a blocking device to filter calls. Some devices utilize extensive spam databases, while others rely on manual information entry. Either way, they provide an efficient way to prevent the same caller from attempting contact. 

Why Should Businesses Prevent Spam Calls?

Businesses must prevent scam calls to reduce distractions, minimize cybersecurity risks and protect themselves against potential scams. 

1. Enhanced Cybersecurity

Even if spam calls aren’t outright scams, they pose a significant cybersecurity risk. For example, unwitting employees may fall for a tech support phone scam and give threat actors remote access. Alternatively, they could leak sensitive system, network or operation information. Preventing spam decreases the likelihood of human error, thus enhancing cybersecurity.

2. Increased Productivity

Even if staff only spends 30 seconds on each spam call to figure out it’s not legitimate, seconds quickly become hours of wasted time as they add up. Multiplying that figure by every employee in the workplace results in thousands of dollars — if not more — in lost productivity.

Businesses can save time and money by blocking incoming spam calls. It keeps workers focused on relevant tasks without disruption, increasing their efficiency. Additionally, it opens lines for clients, prospects and business partners, boosting customer service and profit.

3. Improved Scam Protection

Spam calls are often deceptive and the person on the other end usually has nefarious intentions. For example, the Federal Trade Commission explains how scammers often use an employee’s voice to prove they placed an order or confirmed a delivery. It is one of the most common phone scams affecting small businesses.

Since threat actors can use something as minor as an audio recording to deceive business owners, allowing legitimate callers is in their best interest. Companies that prevent spam calls protect themselves and their employees from becoming victims. 

Stop Spam Calls

Telemarketers and scammers will likely always find workarounds to filtering technology, but most don’t have the resources to constantly adapt. Businesses can implement a few minor changes to block workplace spam calls, enhancing cybersecurity and staff efficiency.