If you’ve been unfortunate enough to receive spam phone calls at home, you’ll know just how annoying they can be. But when you get them at work, they can adversely affect your performance and productivity — and that’s potentially much more serious.
Unfortunately, the perpetrators of these nuisance phone calls don’t discriminate. Whether you have a regional number or a toll-free alternative, it’s just as susceptible to spamming.
Before you can tackle the problem, you need to understand why it’s happening. It’s also important to understand where the calls come from.
Ways Spam Calls Affect Businesses Across America
Despite legislation, countermeasures, and the naming and shaming of perpetrators, spam calls continue — in every imaginable sector. And they can have devastating consequences for smaller organizations.
There isn’t a special ring that signifies a call is spam-related. This means that employees have to answer — when they could be serving the needs of your genuine customers. And when lines are clogged up with these nuisance calls, those same customers may not be able to get through.
Of course, this has a direct effect on employee morale. But it also harms productivity and, ultimately, profitability.
Perhaps you work as part of an agency responsible for monitoring calls and reporting call numbers. If a lot of what you’re dealing with is spam, you’re not delivering the service your clients expect from you.
But how do you know you have a serious problem? And what options do you have? The good news is that there are ways to tackle the issue.
What Counts as a Spam Phone Call?
According to some recent data analysis, more than 140 million spam calls were recently made in a single day. Many of these cases involved so-called “robocalls.” A central computer continually dials thousands of numbers every hour. When someone answers, the call is transferred to either an automated service or a real person.
A lot of spam calls pray on the fear of individuals. For example, one common scam involves a query from a fake IRS agent. In some cases, immediate payment is requested. Some ask for payment by a prepaid debit card, while others simply ask for credit card details.
A more recent phone scam involves the spoofing of a caller ID. Criminal organizations use software to trick you into thinking the call is from a specific area code. It’s even possible to make the call look like it’s coming from someone in your contact list.
The technology and methods being employed by scammers are more sophisticated than ever. One of the latest scams involves fraudsters tracking a company’s purchasing habits.
Armed with this data, telephone scammers can call you, posing as one of your trusted suppliers. Once they’ve convinced the unwitting caller they’re genuine, a scammer can do anything from redirecting payments to acquiring sensitive financial data.
Other types of spam call include those from fax machines and silent calls without either a recording or a person on the other end of the line. In many cases, this is an automated telephony system trying to establish whether your number is active.
5 Ways To Stop Spam Calls In The Workplace
Stopping these calls from getting through is crucial to the profitability of your operation. Fortunately, there are some effective options at your disposal.
1) Add Your Number to a Registry
While not foolproof, the National Do Not Call Registry blocks calls from unwanted marketers. The service is free, and it aims to stop those annoying marketing calls within a month of your registration.
The National Do Not Call Registry is operated by the Federal Communications Commission. If the registration fails, or if fraudsters steal money or information, file a specific complaint with the FCC.
2) Use Interactive Voice Response
If your telephone provider offers it, use interactive voice response as a way of filtering out automated calls. The caller is given a list of options to choose from before they can speak to a real person. Your system should be able to decipher genuine callers from marketers by assessing the responses.
3) Block Individual Numbers
Every time a marketer gets through to your office, block the number using the relevant feature within your telephone system. The only problem with this approach is that it’s slow and laborious. And the more sophisticated marketing organizations call from dozens (if not hundreds) of different numbers.
4) Don’t Answer
If you notice that a call is coming from a suspicious number, don’t answer. Once a real person picks up the phone, the number is flagged as “active” by the marketers’ software. This could mean calls come in more regularly.
5) Activate Spam Detection Software
If you have call tracking software, there’s a chance that you already have a spam filter. This is a sophisticated algorithm that identifies the tell-tale signs of a spam call automatically. The call tracking platform identifies the path of the incoming call for suspicious signs and flags it according to your preferences.
For example, you can tell the system to automatically hang up. You can also instruct it to direct the call to a specific number. And you don’t have to worry about these nuisance calls skewing your call data. An efficient call tracking platform can filter the data out of your main reports.
Be Proactive in the Fight Against Spam Calls
Spam calls are always bad for business. They take your employees away from their role, and they clog up lines that are intended for your customers. But they also put your employees at risk. IRS scammers, in particular, are targeting consumers in their workplaces. By taking steps to prevent spam calls from getting through, you’re protecting your business and the people within it.