Whether or not you’ve already text enabled your business phone numbers, it’s vital to claim ownership – before you become the next victim of slamming.
When major mobile carriers constantly remind customers of their free services for preventing phone fraud, you know there’s a problem.
But what few people know is that a whole new type of phone fraud is looming large on the horizon.
Slamming… The Silent Threat
It’s calling slamming, and it’s on the rise. The illegal practice of switching a subscriber’s phone service without their permission, slamming became a big issue in the mid-1980’s after the deregulation of the telecommunications industry.
Slamming is becoming a hot issue again – only with a new twist: text-enabling your phone numbers without your permission.
A recent SOMOS study chronicled ‘significant and demonstrable market failure’ in the texting to Toll-Free system. With very little effort, they duplicated a scenario in which Toll-Free numbers could be text-enabled without the subscriber’s knowledge.
In short, while you might think you ‘own’ your phone number, your number can be text enabled without your written authorization, and any messages are going to another party.
That is, unless you claim ownership. (We’ll explain how to do that later.)
So why is this important?
Well, it certainly isn’t news that most of us prefer to communicate with each other via text message (SMS). Nearly all (97 percent) of U.S. adults text weekly.
And we don’t just want to text each other. The vast majority – nine out of 10 consumers – want to use messaging to talk to businesses, according to the 2016 Global Messaging Consumer Report.
Texts provide instant gratification – 95 percent of texts are read in five minutes. And as the Millennial and Gen Z generations flood the workforce, the number of people who prefer texting over calling, emailing or checking websites for basic information will only increase.
Savvy business owners that ventured into social media channels are enjoying a multitude of benefits from listening to and responding to their customers’ needs. Improved customer satisfaction and increased brand loyalty are just some of the perks from using today’s communications tools.
So it’s no stretch to see why business leaders are also text-enabling both their local and Toll-Free numbers. Enterprises are adopting text messaging as yet another channel to interact with customers. However, since messaging is still considered an “informational service,” regulatory bodies such as the FCC are just starting to delve into the messaging ecosystem to stem fraudulent behavior such as slamming.
A Free Ounce of Protection – For Every Business
Whether or not you’ve already text enabled your phone numbers, it’s vital to claim ownership – before someone else does.
If haven’t yet text enabled your phone numbers, you can start protecting your numbers today – at no cost. And even if you’ve already text-enabled your numbers, it’s not too late to claim ownership and prevent fraudulent activity.
Text Protect® provides the security measure businesses need to protect themselves from hackers and fraud. Text Protect can be added to any local or Toll Free number in the North American Dialing Plan – for free!
With Text Protect, the true owner creates an eight-digit alpha number PIN that must be used to make any changes such as text enablement. The PIN can be generated and used by a single person or department. A multi-layer security solution, Text Protect is that ounce of protection every business needs to be confident their numbers – and their data – are safe.
In short, as the trend continues toward text messaging, the ways businesses need to protect themselves from fraud must also change.