CallRail Tackles Latest Wave of Traffic Pumping

Recently the entire call tracking industry has seen an increase in the amount of “spam” received by call tracking numbers. We understand that these calls are a nuisance, so we’re taking immediate action to limit the impact of these unwanted calls.

What is traffic pumping?

When you dial a phone number, your call is routed through several carriers. Each carrier along the route is paid for their role in routing that call. The longer the call, and the more calls being made to long-distance or toll-free numbers, the more money these carriers collect for routing those calls. Generating artificial call traffic in order to collect these fees is called “traffic pumping,” and it primarily targets toll-free numbers. Unethical carriers will share these fees with spammers, which creates an incentive for criminals to artificially generate phone calls.

In addition to pushing large amounts of traffic to random telephone numbers, traffic pumpers also spoof the caller ID. Spoofing the caller ID masks the origin of the phone call, and the true owner of the phone number on the Caller ID never actually dialed your business. Caller ID spoofing combined with the decentralized nature of the public phone system makes it very difficult to trace the origin of these calls. Traffic pumping is not unique to CallRail, nor is it limited to the call tracking industry. The FBI, FCC, and all major mobile and telecom carriers are working hard to put an end to traffic pumping. You can read more about traffic pumping on the FCC’s website.

Protect your business from traffic pumping

We know these “spam” calls from traffic pumping are frustrating. While no solution can stop 100% of junk calls, there are some steps that can be taken to significantly reduce their impact on your business.

The most effective solution is to greet your callers with an IVR or phone menu. The menu will prompt callers to enter a selection on their keypad before being connected to your business, and it will stop almost all robo-callers cold before they reach your business or pollute your statistics.

CallRail makes it easy to add a Menu step within our Call Flow Builder. You can include a personalized greeting, which can prompt the caller to “Press 1 to be connected to Sales,” or “If you’re a new customer, please press 1. Existing customers, press 2.” If the caller does not make a menu selection, we’ll automatically disconnect the call after prompting the caller three times. This prevents your phone from ever ringing with these nuisance calls. Coupled with our Tagging feature, this menu can also help provide additional insight about your calls within the CallRail dashboard! You can learn more about setting up a menu in our documentation, or contact our support team who will be happy to help you configure this.

If you have an automated phone menu or voicemail system outside of CallRail that you prefer to use, you should configure that system to disconnect calls that have not reached a live agent after a few minutes. Most major mobile carriers have already configured this on their voicemail system, and will automatically prevent voicemails that are longer than 3 to 5 minutes. If you’re using a different type of service for your business number, you should check for similar settings there. We see many third-party menu systems that repeat the menu prompt for up to an hour, which is a jackpot for traffic pumpers hoping to rack up lengthy calls.

Most of the recent attacks are randomly targeting phone numbers rather than dialing from a specific list. However, if you find that a particular phone number is receiving a high volume of unwanted calls, our team can replace that number at no cost to you. This is an instantaneous and seamless process that retains all of your call data, so you won’t lose any reporting accumulated from the original number. Since many robo-dialers target toll-free numbers, we often see a reduction in unwanted calls when switching to local numbers. We keep an extensive inventory of local numbers, and have numbers available in most local area codes across the United States and Canada.

Most of the recent attacks are also spoofing the Caller ID, which makes it difficult to block the caller. However, if you’re seeing repeated spam calls from a particular number, you can always block that specific caller directly from your dashboard.

Finally, if you do receive unwanted calls, you can “Mark as Spam” in your dashboard to remove the call from your reporting and your invoice.

We want every call to your business to provide value and insight

CallRail has made combating call spam our top priority. We’ve implemented a number of defense measures to ensure we connect as few unwanted calls as possible without disrupting a single legitimate call.

Our first line of defense is a phone number aging process beyond the normal carrier requirements. This helps ensure numbers in our inventory are clean before being made available to our customers. Toll-free numbers get special attention – most have been aged for 60 days and completely silent for the last 20 before being assigned to a customer.

We actively monitor call patterns for repeat junk callers across all our accounts, which lets us stop spammers quickly. Additionally, our partnership with Nomorobo helps us stop thousands more junk calls every day.

We recently deployed additional defenses for calls placed to phone numbers used on customer websites, which are already helping to prevent junk calls there. We have also recently developed tools that will help our team identify and remove unwanted calls from your account before they interfere with your call analytics within your dashboard.

Finally, we’re working with our carrier partners to track down these junk calls and stop them at the source.

Our entire team is working hard to minimize the impact of traffic pumping. If there’s anything we can do to help you, don’t hesitate to call us at 888-907-4718 or email our support team.