Ghost Calls: What are they and how can they be stopped?
When it comes to nuisance calls, ghost calls often sit at the top of the nuisance calls list. The most frustrating thing about ghost calls is the lack of control the recipient of the call has. Ghost calls can occur at any time throughout the day, with the most annoying calls happening in the middle of the night. Ghost calls are virtually untraceable and leave no sign of any numbers. The calls are typically carried out by doing what is called a “Port scan” often conducted by companies running automated software, looking to discover devices, which happen to be telephone and mobile phones.
What Exactly are Ghost Calls?
A ghost call happens when the recipient of the call picks up the telephone, yet there is nobody on the other end of the call and the caller does not leave a message.
The frustrating part about ghost calls is the sheer fact that there is nothing on the other end of the call other than complete silence. Apart from being very annoying and time-consuming, ghost calls can often leave the recipient of the call anxious and scared.
The most reliable way of tracking the original source of ghost calls is by finding the caller ID log. Typically, the ID log will reveal incoming numbers of an unusual pattern. For example, the caller ID usually contains prefixes or codes, with numbers such as 1001, 1000, and 100. These type of telephone numbers typically don’t exist, and if they do show up in call logs, it’s a strong indicator that the call has originated from a non-existent source.
Where Do Ghost Calls Originate From?
Ghost calls originate from automated port scanning devices and not from service providers, as some people assume. Random port scans are carried out, with the objective to reveal potential vulnerabilities within the phone system.
The main annoyance with ghost calls is the fact that the call recipient can be billed for accepting calls, whilst the caller remains undetected and free from any charges.
Available at no cost is a trusted port scanner called SIPVicious. By running SIP scans, hackers can manipulate ports, by testing for the presence of SIP, which stands for (Session Initiation Protocol). If a hacker runs a successful scan, the data can be used to obtain passwords as well as clone the phone system they have targeted, allowing the hackers to make calls that the recipient on the other end, unfortunately, will have to pay for.
Stopping Ghost Calls
First thing is to notify your VoIP service provider immediately as there are things that they can do to help you stop receiving the calls.
SIP Port Change
To stop a lot of ghost calls coming through, the phone adapter or SIP port can be changed by the end-user from 5060, which is the default setting. It’s important to check with your business phone provider first of all, to ensure the SIP messaging option is supported.
How To Block IP Calls?
Another way of blocking ghost calls is to disable the “Direct IP calls” setting.
Blocking Ghost Calls By Using A Firewall
Because of being able to filter ports scans from sources of traffic that are legitimate, using a Firewall is a reliable way of blocking ghost calls. It’s advisable to contact your internet service provider if your unsure about firewalls or you could check your own router/firewall and follow instructions in your manual guide.
Don’t Be Haunted By Ghost Calls
If you continue to ignore ghost calls, in the long term, they could potentially end up costing you a lot of money. It’s important to remain vigilant and react quickly to any ghost calls you receive. By remaining proactive, you can plan ahead and avoid the potential annoyance of any ghost calls in the future.