Phone number verification has been used for years to confirm a person’s identity. A company must ensure that the client is not engaged in fraudulent activity. What are some ways to verify your phone number?
Below we will look at the verification process, how it works, and different verification methods.
How Verification Works
The process to verify a phone number is quite simple. It can be accomplished in a few different methods to ensure the accuracy of the information entered during the signup process. It is the first step when fighting fraudulent activities. It can help identify accounts the company may need to monitor in the future.
Phone number verification can scan a phone number and identify a risk score associated with that number. Different criteria will be assessed such as the origin of the phone number, the current network, the roaming status, the roaming country, and the availability of the number. A phone with different originating companies and current networks can be an indication of possible fraudulent activity.
Benefits of Verifying Phone Numbers
There are many ways individuals have used to bypass the phone number verification step. Finding a fake phone number, using the phone number of a family member or friend, or using a website that will provide a phone number and provide a temporary password are all methods that have been used to attempt to fool the phone verification process.
Reliable phone verification is the company’s responsibility to ensure security transparency between itself and its clients. It will also allow the company to have a valid way to contact a customer for promotions and other reasons in the future. It is an essential step to comply with business regulations that have been set forth that companies must follow.
Verifying a client’s phone number will ensure the information they are attempting to transmit will be able to reach the clients it was intended for. It will prevent fraudsters from exploiting gaps in the security systems and is the first step to stopping any of these activities from taking place on their website.
Inaccurate or underperforming phone number verification will put a company at a greater risk of being a target of fraudulent activity.
Methods to Verify Phone Numbers
Below we will look at the top methods that are used to verify phone numbers and how they can ensure it is a valid working phone number. Below we will cover five different ways this can be accomplished.
1. Line Test
A line test of a phone number consists of a call being made to the phone number that needs verification. The automated call will ensure that the phone number is valid when the line is answered, goes to voicemail, receives a busy signal, or receives a ring back tone, the ringing you will hear when you place a call. This method is effective for both mobile phones and international calls.
A line test can take up to thirty seconds to complete, however, the average line test is completed in just 9 seconds. The line test can be performed while still completing other parts of the registration.
Additionally, authentication can be added to the traditional line test. The authentication would provide a unique number or code on the website. During the call, this code would have to be entered to complete the validation process. This would ensure that the phone is valid and authorized for use. This method is often used by online banking services when validating phone numbers.
2. Turning Test
The turning test will require the user to answer a phone call and press a number or enter a tone to validate the phone number. This method is often used as a method to unsubscribe from a mailing list but can be used as a way to verify a number. It does not provide any information about the phone number besides that it is an active number.
3. Running a Database Check
Some phone number verification methods will involve a database check. This will check the number against a list of telephone numbers made from public sources such as registering to vote and transactions that involve credit cards. This method is very quick to complete and can normally be done in under one second, but there are flaws to the method.
With the widespread use of cell phones, there is no singular database that does cover all the cell subscribers that exist internationally. Additionally, cell phones can be difficult to trace, especially phones without a required monthly contract which do not need a registered owner to register the number.
Some databases, however, can associate the telephone number to a registered owner, a physical address, an e-mail address, and other personal details. This will allow the comparison of the data entered to the information found during the database check. Any differentiating data could be an indication of fraudulent activity and monitor the account.
Some database checks may only be able to check the phone number and indicate if it is in an active range of numbers. It may be inconclusive if the active number belongs to the user that is inputting the data into the website.
4. Phone Number Formatting
Finally, it can check that there are the proper amount of numbers and that is in the correct format. This will avoid wasting the resources of improperly formatted or insufficient numbers being checked by other formats. It will be unnecessary to employ different methods to check the phone number if it is not formatted correctly or insufficient in length.
5. Other Verification methods
Smartphones have developed the need for other verification methods. The most commonly used one will send a one-time password by SMS that will need to be entered to verify the phone number. It may also be necessary to respond to an SMS with a simple number or code to ensure the number is valid.
Another method is the creation of a soft token within the smartphone or other push messages to validate the phone number.
Verifying a phone number is necessary to ensure the user is entering valid and accurate information to a website when they initially sign up. The phone number verification process will ensure the phone number submitted is in the proper format and contains only numeric characters.
Line checks, tuning tests, or database checks can be performed to verify that it is a valid and active line. SMS messages or soft tokens can also be generated to verify smartphones since some phone numbers are activated without the required use of the phone number.