Mobile phone numbers have long become a part of our identity. At the same time, many online and mobile services are delivering one-time passwords over SMS for the purpose of account registration or two-factor authentication. This has created significant opportunities for fraudsters who are exploiting insufficiently secured services for their own gain.
A common scenario occurs when fraudsters create online accounts using inactive phone numbers. If the registration process doesn’t confirm the validity of the phone number, fraudsters can then automate the account creation. These fake accounts can be used afterwards for spam or other illegal activities.
The NetNumber Mobile Number Information (MNI) service brings in real-time phone number intelligence to help prevent such fraud. MNI determines if a phone number is assigned to a mobile subscriber, allowing financial institutions and all types of service providers (OTTs, social networks, mobile / online services etc.) to enhance their user verification screening. This mitigates, and in some cases eliminates, the damage that can be caused by those attempting to create fake accounts using invalid numbers. MNI allows for existing user data to be scrubbed regularly and users with inactive phone numbers can be prompted to update their account in order to keep it secure.
Contact centers and marketers can also benefit from accurate phone number information. By not dialing out to invalid numbers they are able to use the agents’ time more effectively and to save money on marketing cost by not paying for SMS or calls which will not get through. In addition, mobile phone number intelligence can help enhance TCPA compliance.
Mobile Number Information helps customers enhance their user verification screening
The Mobile Number Information API returns phone number data in less than one second for most countries. This makes it possible to integrate the service in existing flows like user account registration.
The activity status of a phone number can be incorporated into risk scoring metrics and therefore bring in another signal in order to determine the likelihood of fraud.
Normalized Routing ID
MNI normalizes the data in each country and returns it in a common format identifying each operator by its unique NNID.
User Account Verification
NetNumber enables customers to strengthen their account verification upon new user registration. A customer prompts a new user to provide their phone number and then queries the MNI platform with the phone number as parameter. The answer is sent in real-time by NetNumber and includes a flag that indicates if the phone number is active or inactive. In the case of an inactive phone number, the customer can adapt the registration workflow by prompting the user to check the phone number format or by adding a CAPTCHA step for authentication.
Service Providers can save some of the cost to terminate SMS or voice calls by checking if the receiving phone numbers are active or not. Routing messaging or voice traffic to such numbers can be avoided and the corresponding termination cost can be saved.
Risk scoring of telephone numbers is essential for fraud prevention purposes. Different data points give useful information about the risk associated with certain actions, for example a service sign-up attempt or a financial transaction. With Mobile Number Information, fraud prevention algorithms can then attach a higher risk to inactive numbers.