Virtual phone numbers provide businesses with an easy and cheap way to contact clients. However, if you neglect safety measures, it is possible to fall victim to fraudsters and scammers.
Virtual phone numbers have penetrated our daily lives and are expected to completely replace landline connections within the next several years. Businesses tend to rely more on VoIP connections due to their convenience and additional functionality. Virtual business numbers are easy to implement and cheap to maintain; they allow for remote work and, if given by a call tracking provider, allow for the collection of critical data for marketing purposes. Individuals use virtual numbers to keep their personal and business lives separate. However, virtual numbers may be unsafe, so it is important to identify them.
In the post “Virtual phone numbers for business”, we have discussed types of numbers and differences between VoIP and landline technologies. Now let’s dig deeper into virtual phone number identification, their characteristic features, and the potential challenges of using such numbers for business.
How to Identify Virtual Phone Numbers
Virtual numbers look like ordinary telephone numbers. The difference is that they do not need additional wires or cables for connection, and no extra equipment is necessary. To receive and make calls, only a stable Internet connection should be provided, as should a device that can handle calls. Voicemail and texting features are also possible.
Virtual phone numbers are successfully used for call tracking purposes in marketing and sales. The web-based interface allows for easy access to information regarding current advertising campaigns. Analytical data normally reveals the most productive traffic channels: the callers’ browsing routes, length of calls, and call recordings. Besides, it is possible to route calls to several devices, which means that you can hire agents for your company and grow the business.
To identify a virtual phone number, you can do the following:
- Enable the caller ID feature. It is important for making cold calls so that potential clients know who is calling them.
- Use the reverse phone lookup service. There are a lot of them available online. Some are free, while others will charge you a fee. The data about the number includes the name of the owner and their address. If you own a VoIP number, you can ask your provider to give you information about an inbound call. If there is anything suspicious about the caller, providers will usually assist in blocking them.
- If you wish to attract more customers to your business, acquire local virtual numbers. They usually look more reliable for the target market, and people are more likely to call them.
Potential Risks and Challenges of Virtual Phone Numbers
A report from the University of Michigan examining the risks of using phone numbers unveiled some interesting facts about the global usage of virtual and landline phone numbers. The study was conducted among 195 participants of different ages, and it turned out that there was nothing too complicated for a scammer to reach personal information in just a couple of hours. That is the reason for paying special attention to digital safety.
The common troubles with using phone numbers include:
- Phone number recycling means receiving a number that was previously owned by another person or company. In such a situation, a new owner may have to handle calls addressed to the previous owner. The inconveniences that follow range from simple irritation to having to deal with debt collectors and even personal attacks.
- Numbers disclosure. Customers hesitate to share their personal numbers with businesses as they do not want to receive annoying notifications. Besides, if a number appears in the list of potential customers, its owner risks receiving spam and unwanted ads from irresponsible businesses. The most unpleasant situation is selling numbers to other firms. In this case, you may find yourself explaining to a cold-calling agent why you do not require a comfortable, soft linen kit.
- Poor usability. Customers fail to remember long numbers. The ‘Call Now’ button on the landing page is a solution here.
- Scam calls. Those are irritating, and answering them may lead to money loss and much stress. Scammers use virtual phone numbers as they are difficult to track and may be offered anonymously. According to Security Week, there has been a rise in attacks on Google services. Scammers have become more invisible and hard to trace with the opportunities of a virtual phone connection.
- Troubles with the Internet connection. If it is poor, you will face dropped calls and low customer satisfaction.
- Poor work-life balance. A virtual phone number means you are always accessible. Implement voicemail or route calls to available agents to cope with this issue.
Common digital safety requirements suggest the following measures:
- Share a username rather than a phone number. It is possible to mute notifications in apps such as Skype, Whatsapp, or Telegram. Therefore, you can secure yourself from annoying calls from strangers.
- Never share your credit card or ID details with anyone in messages or photos.
- Scammers may ask you to tell them a code that was sent to your phone number and further use your number in their schemes. Unless it was your initiative, do not reveal any codes you receive.
- If you are uneasy speaking with someone who is calling from an unknown number, you can always call the business's official phone number.
- If you feel your number is being used by someone else, use a Google service to take it back and report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Virtual phone numbers are convenient for business purposes and individual usage. They allow employees to work from any location; they do not need additional equipment or high maintenance investment. Virtual numbers mean the database will be stored on the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere. It can also be easily shared among team members.
Individuals benefit from virtual phone numbers as they do not share their personal contact information for marketing purposes, which decreases the risk of being attacked by scammers and falling victim to fraudsters.
However, digital security has never been more urgent than in today’s world. Businesses and individuals should treat it seriously to avoid losing reputation and resources.
Dialics cares about our customers’ safety. Thus, all new users pass an account verification, as we want to make sure your business is real and you intend to use our services for good. Contact our team to clarify any questions.