If you use SMS one-time passwords (OTP) to secure your application, you may need to detect VoIP numbers before sending a callback. This can help you to identify real users and reduce bots, which can cause spam and malware infections.
The most effective way to trace VoIP phone numbers is to use the Lookup API’s new Line Type Intelligence package. This feature allows you to detect a range of phone line types, including fixed and non-fixed VoIP numbers, and filter them out before sending an OTP.
A VoIP number is a unique telephone number that can be registered online through a VoIP service provider. This is different to traditional telephone numbers, which are assigned and used by a company according to the NANP (North American Numbering Plan) rules set up by Bell Labs in the 1940s.
Depending on your business and needs, you can choose to buy a fixed or a non-fixed VoIP number. Fixed numbers are usually associated with a physical address, while non-fixed numbers can be programmematically allocated by your application.
You can also buy a local VoIP number in any area code, which gives your company a strong local presence and helps to increase trust with your customer base. This is especially important for a small or online business who might not have employees who are located locally and want to reach out to customers in their local area.
Some companies opt to purchase premium rate numbers, which are cheaper than regular VoIP numbers and can be useful for tele-assistance services, tarot readers, translators and other businesses that need to charge per minute of conversation. These numbers can be programmed to forward calls to other telephone numbers if the user wishes to do so.
This can make it more difficult to find out who owns a particular number, as the ID and IP addresses of each caller might be forged or hidden. However, you can still do a reverse lookup using an IP WHOIS lookup.
You can do this by obtaining the IP address of each caller, which can be found on their incoming phone screen or from your computer network through a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). You can then perform an IP WHOIS lookup to get details such as an IP owner’s name, location and contact information.
Alternatively, you can ask your VoIP provider to do a CNAM lookup for you. This is a reliable way to find out who owns a specific phone number and it can be done without cost or hassle.
A CNAM lookup is not easy to do on your own and requires some technical skills, so you’ll likely need to rely on your VoIP service to carry out this process for you.
Tracing a non-fixed VoIP number is even more difficult than tracing a fixed VoIP number since these numbers are not tied to any physical address. Moreover, spammers frequently spoof these numbers to get around your filters and you’ll have no assurance that they’re the correct person calling you.