What are Ghost Calls?
A ghost call is the name given to phantom calls where your phone rings but nobody is on the other end of the call, nothing but silence. It is extremely annoying and depending on the source of the ghost call, it can happen frequently.
Sometimes the caller ID will be a strange number such as calls from 100, 1000, 1001 or the likes which is often a clear sign of a ghost call.
Who is Responsible for these Phantom Calls
Well, first of all, it should be pointed out that this is rarely due to your phone provider, though as we will find out, there are things we can do to block ghost calls.
Often these phantom phone calls are due to automated programs randomly scanning IP (Internet Protocol) ports, often referred to as port scans, to try and find susceptibilities in your phone system. They are doing this because if they find a way to break into your phone system they can make calls on your dime, so you need to prevent them. One common scanner that is used is known as SIPVicious. It is a free SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) test tool but used by hackers to try and find your SIP ports and break in to retrieve the password for the extension. If they are successful, they can then clone the extension on their system and make calls that you will pay for.
However, these calls can also be due to neglected auto-dialers, such as the ones used by those annoying telemarketers. There are FCC (Federal Communications Commission) limits on how long they can tie up your phone line so if an auto-dialer is no longer actively managed but still making outbound calls, it could cause problems. In other words, it calls your number but no telemarketer is present to talk to you and then the line is tied up until the FCC limits kick-in at which point it terminates the call.
Stopping Ghost Calls
Regardless of who is responsible, ghost calls are annoying and can be dangerous if their goal is to attempt to break-in to your phone. However, there are various methods you can use to stop these rogue calls, some at the provider side and others at the end user side. Let me highlight some of the most popular ways to stop ghost calls:
Provider Side Fixes
- If you have our Mikrotik router installed, it will already be set up to prevent ghost calls caused by SIP scanners. If you have a Mikrotik and are still experiencing ghost calls, no need to worry, Spectrum VoIP also has other security measures in place to ensure that no one can clone and use your extension to place calls on your dime. Ghost calls on our platform are nothing more than an annoyance. Call our technical support team at 469-429-2500 or simply dial 4357 (HELP) on your desk phone. We will make the necessary updates to your router to block the ghost calls.
- For the case of auto-dialer issues, they tend to have a real phone number in their incoming caller ID. To block all calls from that Caller ID, you can do this yourself from the secure portal. Just log in and block the associated rogue calls using this guide for the Stratus platform or this guide for the Enswitch platform. However, note that often auto-dialers are more intelligent than that these days and change the caller ID number frequently so it can be hard to stay on top of this. Under this condition, it is best to see what our technical support team can do to help.