CLI Overstamping – What is CLI Overstamping? How Does it Affect your Organisation?

Posted: 1 June 2023

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is a statutory body aiming to control better Caller Line Identification (CLI) and Caller ID overstamping. This is due to the increasing number of scams, causing financial stress and emotional strain on thousands of Australians. ACMA defines CLI overstamping as allowing “the person calling you to display a different number from the number they are calling from.” This practice is legal in Australia unless it is exploited to conduct malicious activity, i.e., carrying out a scam called ‘Caller ID spoofing.’

In 2022, ACMA established ‘Industry Code C661:2022 Reducing Spam Calls and SCAM SMs’, forming a set of obligations requiring carriers and carriage service providers to identify, track and block scams that occur over the phone and through SMS. Telecommunication carriers can face penalties of up to $250,000 for breaching any requirement under this new code.

With this new Industry Code, organisations that legally practice the use of CLI overstamping must adhere to the guidelines ACMA has implemented to prevent being classified as a scam by their carrier, which can subsequently lead to their phone numbers being blocked.

In this blog, we will explore how CLI overstamping can be legally used, the impact of failing to comply with Industry Code C661:2022, as well as how ipSCAPE’s cloud contact centre solution can support your organisation to utilise CLIs across your outbound voice and SMS campaigns effectively.

How can CLI Overstamping be legally used?

ACMA acknowledges that organisations utilise CLI overstamping to display a different phone number than their publicly listed phone number to conduct business activities. For example, a Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) organisation may utilise several phone numbers (CLIs) to make outbound phone calls or send text messages on behalf of their clients. CLI overstamping can also be used as a sales tactic to increase contact rates. This strategy may be applied by rotating between different CLIs when calls are made to the same customers multiple times. This tactic prevents customers from thinking that the same person is calling them repetitively, as other phone numbers are displayed each time a call is made, prompting a higher likelihood for the customer to answer.

How can your organisation ensure to accurately use CLIs?

Organisations must adhere to ACMA’s ‘Industry Guidance Note (IGN 009) CLI Management’ when practicing CLI overstamping. This Guidance Note sets the standard that anytime a call is made from a CLI, the person making the call can be uniquely identified based on the number displayed. This enables carriers to recognise whether a CLI is being used lawfully or to classify the phone number as Caller ID spoofing.

The impact of this change is that if a telecommunications carrier is presenting a CLI on an outbound call, the CLI number must be hosted by the originating carrier. If not, the call will be blocked by the receiving carrier; or the agent may be asked to “press 1 to continue” before the call is connected.

Organisations can effectively manage their CLIs by ensuring the numbers they use are hosted by the telecommunication carrier when presenting the CLI on an outbound call or SMS. This enables the carrier to identify the number displayed belonging to the organisation that has registered the number. Without doing so, the CLI cannot be uniquely traced to the organisation, resulting in the phone number being classified as Caller ID spoofing. Once a number is marked as Caller ID spoofing, the CLI can no longer be used, requiring purchasing a new phone number.

Similarly, under section 4.2.6 of the ‘Industry Code C661:2022 Reducing Spam Calls and SCAM SMs’ organisations calling internationally will need to ensure the number being displayed on the CLI has been provided by the Telecommunications Operator. It states that “C/CSPs must not send Inbound International Calls to B-Parties on their own Telecommunications Network or XPOI to the Transit C/CSPs or Terminating C/CSPs where the International Operator has not provided the A-Party CLI of an Inbound International Call.”

Optimise your outbound strategy & manage CLI overstamping within ipSCAPE’s solution:

ipSCAPE’s platform allows organisations to host and upload CLI numbers for your agents to call or send a message. This functionality is customisable per campaign, where managers can select a CLI and then measure the performance using the Live Reports and Wallboards module.

CLI numbers can be State-based, e.g. ‘02’ for New South Wales or Mobile, e.g. ‘+614’, depending on your organisation’s preference. Moreover, State-based CLIs can dynamically change based on a customer’s location. For instance, an agent in Queensland calling a customer based in Victoria can display a Victorian ‘03’ phone number. CLIs displayed can be configured to automatically change based on the customer’s location to increase efficiency.

Similarly, displaying a mobile number may be preferred for some campaigns. Applying a State-based or Mobile CLI can help increase contact rates for high-volume outbound sales companies – can significantly help drive performance.

To ensure compliance with ACMA’s latest changes, ipSCAPE’s solution enables organisations to port and host their CLI numbers within the platform. This allows the phone number displayed on a call or SMS to be identified as a registered number by the carrier. This prevents agents from experiencing the issue of their call failing to be connected, which impacts overall productivity and contact rates.

Ultimately, ACMA’s latest Industry Code C661:2022 and Industry Guidance Note (IGN:009) aim to prevent more Australians from being impacted by scams by placing requirements on carriers to block CLIs that have not been registered. All organisations that legally practice CLI overstamping must adhere to the relevant guidelines and register all phone numbers to continue business activities effectively.

If you’d like to discover how ipSCAPE can support your organisation to use CLIs across your outbound campaigns effectively, read about our extensive outbound dialler capabilities or get in touch to find out how ipSCAPE’s award-winning software can help your contact centre operate more efficiently.

ipSCAPE is a feature-rich, scalable cloud communication technology solution with advanced integration capabilities. We help businesses connect with their customers through multi-channel communications, including Voice, Web Chat, Email, SMS, IVR, and other emerging channels.