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6 things you should know about call masking

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Masked calling otherwise known as call masking is a technique usually by individuals or companies firms to keep personal phone numbers of businesses and individuals private.

A masked call happens when an international calling number (Caller Line Identity) is masked as local number traffic. The numbers can also be in shortcodes.

Through call masking, parties can send SMS to each other without revealing their personal phone numbers.

It is a deliberate attempt by a fraudster to avoid paying the correct International Termination Rate (ITR) for international calls, paying instead of the Local Termination Rate (LTR).

Besides the threat to security, especially in cyberspace, revenue meant for government coffers are also blocked.

A 10 percent tax on all calls, telephony and telecommunications services goes to the government.

Although there have been sanctions against telecommunications operators involved in call masking related fraud by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the menace still persists.

Lately, however, these menaces that pose threat to national security have reappeared. This is intensely fuelling concern that the country could be hit by a new wave of insecurity.

Here are six things to know about the phenomenon:

1. It is powered by Voice APIs, a coding platform where a developer can set up phone number proxies to keep parties from knowing each other’s phone numbers during a call.

2. It uses a short-lived phone number for each party, for example (5527, 00245). This allows the caller to communicate seamlessly during a specified time period, with no room for the recipient to speak.

3. It is one of many platforms terrorists use to communicate in an anonymous manner.

4. It is used to disguise as a family, especially for monetary fraudulent motives.

5. It is a method used to evade the international call rates.

6. Call masking amounts to revenue loss for licensed local telecom operators from international calls since such are being disguised as local calls.


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