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Using Phone Activity Status as a Fraud Signal

Fraudulent activities are evolving, spurring advancements in technology to increase security. Many industries that engage in e-commerce or exchange money through online platforms (banking, etc.) are needing more comprehensive solutions to protect themselves and their customers from costly fraud. Through the registration of fake accounts as well as phone calls from scammers, fraudsters are able to attack legitimate users and damage a company’s brand value, revenue, and growth.

Fortunately, there are reliable fraud risk indicators that companies can build into their machine learning data models. Irregular phone number behavior can be used as a signal to indicate a suspicious risk profile; by using ‘Activity Status’ by EveryoneAPI, enterprises can detect whether a phone number is inactive or not.

There are many opportunities in which knowing the Activity Status of a phone number could indicate fraud:

  • An inactive telephone number is used during the account setup process. To ensure frictionless account creation, phone numbers often won’t be verified.
  • With the ability of scammers to spoof the phone number seen on inbound calls, it becomes necessary to block unknown callers potentially using inactive phone numbers.
  • In order to use a single active phone number on multiple accounts, personal account info may be updated after account creation/phone verification to include an inactive phone number.

‘Activity Status’ provides the most up-to-date information about the status of a phone line, providing an “active” or “inactive” indication. EveryoneAPI uses a broad set of phone carriers and proprietary data sources to determine whether a particular number is associated with recent activity. By aggregating and analyzing a large number of datasets, EveryoneAPI is able to determine whether a number is being actively used with normal calling behavior.

Phone activity provides insightful phone-based signals used in fraud mitigation platforms to determine the risk of a given phone number and the associated user. Effectively identifying and blocking harmful users at account registration, while streamlining the process for authentic and valuable users, has become critical. These indicators can also be used regularly in account maintenance to identify an account that needs to be re-verified due to telephone numbers showing potentially fraudulent activity.