Most people have been tempted to put in false information on contact forms and accounts before. They‘re afraid a company will email them all the time, or they‘re trying to get an extra month of free service, or they might just not want to give up personal information. Though this can be tempting (who doesn‘t want free Netflix?), it‘s also dangerous. Fraud and mass account creation can have consequences that range from irritating to dangerous for both customers and companies alike.

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Thankfully, contact and phone authentication services are available to ensure contact information is correct. If a person lists a false phone number or email, companies will be notified. With these services, verifying a telephone number has never been easier. Such services are called phone verification. They‘ve become a staple in marketing and communication strategies because of their effective applications and impressive benefits.

What Does Phone Verification Do?

Phone verification or validation services review lists of phone numbers and confirm that they‘re correct and currently in use. If a phone number doesn‘t meet both of these criteria, the service flags it. Verification APIs can also be used for other purposes, such as standardizing contact information and restricting calling times to stay in compliance.

Companies verify phone numbers for a variety of reasons, which can include:

  • Ensuring their SMS API campaigns are reaching the intended audiences
  • Using text or SMS as a verification method for two-factor authentication
  • Confirming customer information is correct for future reference and contact
  • Verifying customers‘ identities using contact information
  • Guaranteeing sensitive information is sent to the right person

Increasingly, phone verification is also being used to prevent fraud and mass account creation. These two issues cost companies precious time, money, and resources. They can also skew data and impact future campaigns. And for companies that deal with sensitive information, such as banks and debt settlement businesses, invalid or fraudulent customer information can have serious ramifications.

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How Does It Prevent Fraud and Mass Account Creation?

Phone verification systems work by analyzing contact information, specifically phone numbers, and checking if they‘re valid and in use. It will flag all numbers that are invalid, not currently in use, or both. From there, companies have several options:

  • Check in with the customer using another (preferably verified) contact method to correct the information. For businesses that deal with sensitive information, such as those in the financial and medical sectors, this is especially important.
  • Remove the customer or account from text lists, mailing accounts, or whatever other company service the customer was involved in. This eliminates contact information that may be linked to invalid, old, and “junk” accounts.
  • Investigate the customer or account associated with the information to either confirm or deny the misinformation was intentional. Companies may take corrective action depending on the outcome as they deem necessary.

These are just three examples of how companies could react once verified phone numbers are sorted from invalid ones. In cases where fraud and/ or mass account creation are suspected, the third scenario is more likely.

Because contact information is often necessary for creating accounts, phone numbers and emails are often falsified. If a website doesn‘t have an internal validation service, fraudulent information won‘t be immediately flagged. You‘ll know if a company does use email and telephone verification if an alert immediately pops (which will usually state an approximation of “invalid contact information”) or if an error occurs when users try to submit the information.

Another common security measures that many websites and companies are adopting is singular use of account information. This means that multiple accounts can‘t use the same email address or phone number. Rather than set up multiple real phone numbers and emails, mass account creation relies on fake information. Again, if a website doesn‘t have a built-in verification service, scammers and other individuals can easily get away with this.

Phone verification APIs flag invalid information, meaning that fraudulent and mass created accounts will be discovered and deactivated (or otherwise dealt with) sooner rather than later. Your company will be able to quickly identify both accounts that aren‘t linked to a real person and accounts that are false despite being linked to a real person.

Using validation APIs benefits customers, as well. After verifying contact information, companies can contact the individual who owns that phone number or email to ensure they signed up for a service or product. If an individual‘s contact information has been stolen or compromised, they‘ll be able to directly confirm it with the company. At this point, the company can work to resolve the issue and identify the perpetrator. New account fraud and account takeover fraud are two types of schemes which revolve around contact information theft.

Is It Easy to Sign Up For/Use Phone Verification?

Yes, it‘s very simple to sign up for a phone verification service. The most important step is to research which service will best fit your current and future needs. Consider factors like scalability, price, and coverage. If you‘re unsure, consider signing up for a free trial to see if the API is right for your company.

Once you‘ve signed up with the right company, all you have to do is upload your contact lists into the API. Each phone number will be scanned in real time and confirmed (or not) as valid and in use. You‘ll also receive other data about the phone number, such as geographic information, carrier information, and more.

Esendex‘s phone verification has been the go-to reliable and cost-effective phone number verification solution since 1999. Our API verifies and standardizes thousands of numbers within seconds, boosting deliverability and increasing conversions. With our service, you can easily identify and prevent fraud and mass account creation. In addition to all this, it‘s also completely programmable, so you can be sure it will meet your unique communication and marketing needs. And besides meeting every need, it fits every budget with volume-based and per transaction pricing.

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