Caller ID Name (CNAM) data plays a crucial role in the telecommunications industry by providing valuable information about incoming calls. It allows businesses and individuals to identify the name associated with a phone number before answering a call. While CNAM data offers several benefits, it is not without its flaws. In this blog post, we will explore three issues with CNAM data and discuss how they can impact businesses.
1. Inaccurate or Outdated Information:
One of the primary challenges with CNAM data is the presence of inaccurate or outdated information. CNAM databases rely on data provided by individual subscribers and businesses, and it is not always up-to-date. As a result, the displayed caller name may not match the current owner or user of the phone number. This inaccuracy can be problematic for businesses that heavily rely on caller identification for customer service, sales, or security purposes.
2. Lack of Coverage:
CNAM coverage can also be problematic. One of the main issues is that not all carriers support CNAM, resulting in inconsistent or incomplete caller name information being displayed. According to this blog, people in the U.S. make about 2.9 billion calls per day, but only about 42% of the CNAM data is usable, while 58% of the data is a placeholder like “WIRELESS CALLER” or just the city, state name such as “Plano, TX”. This can be frustrating for users who rely on caller ID to identify and screen incoming calls.
3. CNAM Spoofing and Fraudulent Activities:
Another significant concern related to CNAM data is the potential for spoofing and fraudulent activities. CNAM spoofing occurs when a phone owner deliberately manipulates the CNAM information to display a fake or misleading name or a derogatory phrase. This practice is often employed by scammers and fraudsters to deceive recipients and increase the likelihood of successful phishing attempts, identity theft, or other malicious activities. And for businesses, fraudulent calls appearing to come from well-known brands can damage their image and reputation.
While CNAM data offers valuable caller identification capabilities, it is essential for businesses to be aware of its limitations. Inaccurate or outdated information, lack of coverage, and the potential for CNAM spoofing are three significant issues that can impact businesses relying on CNAM data for caller identification. As businesses navigate these challenges, implementing additional security measures, ensuring accurate data management, and educating customers about potential spoofing risks can help mitigate the negative consequences associated with CNAM data issues.
A lot of these issues can be avoided by instead using caller names and details from much more authoritative data sources. Sources such as the billing records registered with the carriers, credit header data, etc. This ensures that the data is much more accurate and with much higher coverage as well. Trestle’s Caller Identification API does exactly that. Not only do we provide the best coverage and accuracy in the industry, but we also append the caller name with address, demographic information, and other details that can help with caller verification, prioritization, and other use cases.