5 Tools to Help Meet Ofcom and Other Growing Anti-Fraud Regulations Around the Globe

As the global telecom industry continues to battle spoofing and other forms of communications fraud, government regulatory bodies are developing increasingly stricter rules for telecom providers to further crackdown on illegal texting, calling and other scams.
The latest example comes from the United Kingdom (UK), where communications regulator Ofcom has opened a consultation period on proposed updates to its Calling Line Identification (CLI) guidance (PDF, 332.3 KB). Under the CLI guidelines, UK Communication Services Providers are required to identify and block calls with invalid or inaccurate CLI data. The proposed modifications aim to strengthen the guidelines by closing a loophole that scammers can use to spoof UK numbers from abroad. The consultation (comment) period closes on March 28th.

U.S. Moves to Beef Up Regulations

The UK Ofcom modifications come on the heels of new regulatory measures in the United States, involving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s efforts to quash fraud by tightening security requirements for telecom providers. In January, the agency adopted new rules targeting two growing fraud schemes: port-out fraud and SIM swapping. 
The new Report and Order, effective Jan. 8th, 2024, requires wireless providers to adopt secure customer authentication methods before redirecting a phone number to a new device or carrier. It also mandates that providers notify customers whenever a SIM change or port request is made on customers’ accounts. 

The FCC has also taken aim at illegal robotexting. In March 2023, the agency issued a new order requiring wireless carriers to implement heightened number verification processes. In 2021, the FCC’s STIR/SHAKEN regulations kicked off the wave of anti-fraud measures by requiring voice service providers to attest to the CLI and file robocall mitigation plans.

How netnumber Can Help Meet Regulations and Mitigate Fraud

As telecom providers face increasingly stricter anti-fraud regulations worldwide, netnumber has been working hard to develop innovative solutions to better protect our customers, partners and the industry as a whole as well as to aid carriers in meeting the more stringent mandates. 

As a result, netnumber offers numerous unique and powerful solutions for combatting fraud. These include Carrier ID, a highly accurate number portability validation service; NumeriView, an efficient tool for identifying port-out fraud; and three new tools launched in the last year: NumeriCheck, a robust phone number verification solution; Number Lock, a resource to lock down fixed phone numbers from text enablement to fight brand impersonation attempts; and Number Watch, a real-time monitoring solution that alerts when operator assignment or other relevant parameter changes occur with a specific phone number. 

Let's take a look at more details on these important services.


netnumber’s Top Five Anti-fraud Solutions to Meet Ofcom and Other Mandates 

1. Carrier ID: The Answer to Accurate Number Portability Data

More and more subscribers are keeping their number when switching their phone provider. Combine this with the fierce competition between CSPs, especially in markets with a very high penetration of prepaid SIM cards, and you can end up with number portability rates that can exceed 50%. netnumber’s Carrier ID is the solution for accessing high-quality, accurate number portability data in the 100+ countries and territories that have mandated this capability worldwide. 

Carrier ID can validate the format and meticulously resolve the current telecommunications service provider for any given phone number globally, delivering the fastest response times in the industry. 

2. NumeriView: Strong Protection Against Port-Out Fraud

Port-out fraud is an increasingly popular scheme as vast numbers of consumers choose to keep their phone number (known as porting) when switching carriers. A common scenario happens when fraudsters exploit weak processes and port a phone number in order to receive the SMS or Text-To-Speech One-Time Passwords of the real owner and then use this information to take over their online accounts.
NumeriView targets port-out fraud by providing an efficient mechanism to determine if a phone number has been ported from one service provider to another or if it has been ported between service types (fixed to mobile). Banks and credit card companies have long known that recent porting activity is a significant indicator of potentially fraudulent transactions. Businesses can use this information to help prevent fraud, such as by flagging new user account requests, and password recovery attempts as potentially fraudulent when a freshly ported phone number is involved.

3. NumeriCheck: The Real-time Number Verification Solution

Our recently launched NumeriCheck solution offers an answer to fraud through real-time number verification and validation. Underlying NumeriCheck’s, and our other robust anti-fraud services, is world-leading phone number intelligence data, curated by netnumber during our more than 20 years at the forefront of telecom industry solutions.  
With access to these powerful data sets and NumeriCheck’s unique ability to validate phone numbers, customers can certify that their messages and voice calls will always reach the correct carrier and subscriber and that fraudulent patterns are identified.

4 . Number Lock: Mitigate Brand Impersonation

Number Lock boosts anti-fraud measures in U.S. text messaging with a particular focus on brand impersonation. Number Lock increases security for business enterprises by restricting text messaging on customer-specified 10-digit non-mobile numbers upon the request of the subscriber to the number. This enables enterprises to secure their brand and prevent fraudsters from using well-known business phone numbers via text messaging to gain a victim’s trust.

In addition, Number Lock supports Do Not Originate (DNO) requirements, which are growing in use in the industry and are increasingly the subject of regulatory demands. Number Lock provides a powerful mechanism for enterprises to declare and shield DNO numbers – numbers that are not legitimate sender IDs for text messaging – within the messaging ecosystem. This serves as another important fraud aversion mechanism.

5 . Number Watch: Get Real-Time Alerts to Suspicious Activity

Number Watch provides comprehensive phone number monitoring for telecom providers, financial institutions and enterprises. Number Watch stores customer-specified phone numbers on a watchlist continually monitored for a wide range of events and provides real-time alerts to customers indicating suspicious activities. Customers can determine if the flagged activities are legitimate (e.g., a valid number type or carrier change) or illegitimate (e.g., attempted fraudulent use) and act accordingly.

If you’d like to learn more about how these and other netnumber solutions can help you fight fraud and meet regulatory mandates, please contact us here