+1 (320) 888-0007

Decoding Ghost Calls: What Are Ghost Calls and How to Tame Them?

  • Home
  • SIP
  • VOIP
  • Decoding Ghost Calls: What Are Ghost Calls and How to Tame Them?
ghost calls or phantom calls

Ghost calls—those mysterious, unexpected interruptions that leave us scratching our heads—are more than just an annoyance. They can be a sign of underlying issues within your VoIP system. But fear not, understanding what ghost calls or phantom calls  are and how to manage them can help you regain control and ensure smooth communication for your business.

Ghost calls are a perplexing and often frustrating phenomenon in the world of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication. These mysterious silent calls seem to come from nowhere, disrupting your business’s operations and leaving you wondering about their origin and purpose. However, they are not just a minor inconvenience. Phantom calls can indicate underlying issues in your VoIP phone system that, if left unaddressed, can lead to more serious problems.

Managing ghost calls or phantom calls is crucial for maintaining a smooth and reliable VoIP operation. By understanding what Phantom calls are and taking proactive steps to manage them, you can ensure that your communication system functions optimally, providing uninterrupted service to your customers and clients.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the world of phantom calls, uncovering their origins, potential dangers, and most importantly, practical strategies to manage and prevent them. Whether you’re a small business owner or an IT professional, this comprehensive overview will equip you with the knowledge to tackle phantom calls head-on and keep your VoIP phone system running smoothly.

We will explore the nature of ghost calls, why they occur, and most importantly, how you can manage them effectively to minimize their impact on your VoIP phone system. Whether you are a business owner, IT professional, or simply curious about the world of VoIP, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into this mysterious aspect of modern communication technology.

Understanding Ghost Calls/Phantom Calls

Ghost calls are an enigma that plagues many VoIP users, but what exactly are they? In simple terms, phantom calls are incoming phone calls that appear to come from nowhere. Unlike traditional phone calls, where the caller ID typically displays the phone number of the person or entity calling, phantom calls often have no identifiable caller ID or originate from unusual or unfamiliar phone numbers.

The technical explanation for ghost calls involves a phenomenon known as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) scanning. SIP scanning is when automated bots or malicious actors attempt to identify vulnerable VoIP systems by sending out SIP messages to random or sequential IP addresses. When a VoIP phone system receives one of these messages, it may interpret it as a legitimate call attempt, leading to the appearance of a phantom call.

Despite their prevalence, there are several misconceptions about phantom calls that can lead to confusion. One common misconception is that phantom calls are always the result of malicious activity. While it’s true that SIP port scanning can be a cause, phantom calls can also occur due to misconfigurations, network issues, or even natural phenomena such as electromagnetic interference.

Understanding the nature of ghost calls and how they occur is the first step in effectively managing them. In the following sections, we will explore the potential dangers of ghost calls and provide practical tips for identifying, managing, and preventing them in your VoIP system.

Are Ghost Calls Dangerous?

Ghost calls may seem harmless, but they can pose significant risks to your VoIP system and business operations. Understanding these risks is crucial for implementing effective mitigation strategies.

Potential Risks of Ghost Calls

One of the primary risks associated with ghost calls is the potential for toll fraud. Hackers and malicious actors can use phantom calls to gain unauthorized access to your VoIP system and place international calls or premium rate calls at your expense. These fraudulent calls can result in substantial financial losses if not detected and prevented early.

Another risk is the disruption of your VoIP system’s performance. Ghost calls can overload your system with unnecessary call traffic, leading to call quality issues, dropped calls, and overall degraded performance. This can have a detrimental impact on your business’s ability to communicate effectively with customers and clients.

Impact on VoIP System Performance and Security

Phantom calls can also compromise the security of your VoIP system. If left unchecked, they can be used as a gateway for further attacks, such as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks or the installation of malware. Additionally, the constant barrage of ghost calls can consume valuable resources, making your system more vulnerable to other security threats.

Real-World Examples or Case Studies

Real-world examples illustrate the potential dangers of phantom calls. In 2018, a UK-based company fell victim to a toll fraud attack through phantom calls, resulting in a bill of over £27,000. This incident highlights the financial risks posed by phantom calls and underscores the importance of implementing robust security measures to protect against them.

In another case, a US-based business experienced a significant disruption in their VoIP service due to a flood of these dangerous calls. This disruption not only affected their internal communications but also impacted their ability to serve customers, leading to a loss of revenue and damage to their reputation.

These examples serve as a stark reminder of the dangers of ghost calls and emphasize the importance of proactive measures to mitigate their impact on your VoIP system. In the following sections, we will explore practical strategies for identifying, managing, preventing, and stopping ghost calls to safeguard your VoIP infrastructure and business operations.

Identifying Ghost Calls

Detecting ghost calls early is essential for minimizing their impact on your VoIP system. Here are some signs that your system may be experiencing ghost calls and tools/techniques to help you identify them.

Signs that Your System is Experiencing Ghost Calls

  1. Unexplained Call Logs: Check your call logs for calls with no caller ID or calls from unfamiliar phone numbers, especially during non-business hours.
  2. Increased Call Volume: A sudden increase in call volume, especially during off-peak hours, could indicate these calls are overwhelming your system.
  3. Call Quality Issues: Ghost calls can cause call quality issues such as static, echoes, or dropped calls.
  4. Abnormal Behavior: Monitor your system for any unusual behavior, such as phones ringing without anyone making a call, calls being forwarded unexpectedly, or any international calls made.

Tools and Techniques for Detecting Ghost Calls

  1. Call Detail Records (CDRs): Regularly review your CDRs to identify any suspicious patterns, such as calls to premium rate numbers or calls from unusual sources.
  2. Network Monitoring Tools: Use network monitoring tools to track traffic patterns and identify any unusual spikes in traffic that could indicate ghost calls.
  3. Firewall and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): Implementing a firewall and IDS can help detect and block malicious SIP traffic associated with phantom calls.
  4. VoIP Security Solutions: Consider investing in VoIP security solutions that offer advanced call analytics and monitoring capabilities to detect and prevent ghost calls.

By being vigilant and using the right tools and techniques, you can effectively identify ghost calls and take appropriate action to protect your VoIP system and business operations.

Managing and Preventing Ghost Calls

Managing and preventing ghost calls requires a proactive approach that combines robust security measures, regular updates, and strategic configuration of your VoIP system. Here are some effective strategies:

Setting Up Security Measures

  1. Firewall Configuration: Configure your firewall to block SIP traffic from unknown or unauthorized sources. Implementing a firewall specifically designed for VoIP can help prevent unauthorized access to your system.
  2. Access Control: Implement access control measures to restrict access to your VoIP system. Use strong passwords and consider implementing two-factor authentication for added security.
  3. Encryption: Enable encryption for SIP signaling and media streams to protect your communications from eavesdropping and tampering.

Updating Firmware and Software Regularly

  1. Firmware Updates: Regularly update the firmware of your VoIP devices to patch vulnerabilities and improve security.
  2. Software Updates: Keep your VoIP software up to date with the latest security patches and updates to protect against known vulnerabilities.

Configuring VoIP Settings to Stop Ghost Calls

  1. Disable Unused Features: Disable unused VoIP features and services such as auto dialers to reduce the attack surface of your system.
  2. Implement SIP Security Best Practices: Follow SIP security best practices, such as using strong passwords, disabling unused SIP methods, and limiting the number of simultaneous sessions per user.

Using Specialized Hardware or Software Solutions

  1. Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): Consider deploying an IDS designed for VoIP to detect and prevent suspicious SIP traffic associated with ghost calls.
  2. VoIP Security Solutions: Invest in specialized VoIP security solutions that offer advanced threat detection and mitigation capabilities tailored to protect against ghost calls.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively manage and stop ghost calls, safeguarding your VoIP system and ensuring uninterrupted communication for your business.

Best Practices for Dealing with Ghost Calls

Dealing with ghost calls requires a combination of proactive measures and effective response strategies. Here are some best practices to help you stop phantom calls effectively:

Documenting and Reporting Ghost Call Incidents

  1. Keep Detailed Logs: Maintain detailed logs of all ghost call incidents, including the date, time, and any relevant details about the call.
  2. Report Incidents: Report ghost call incidents to your VoIP service provider and relevant authorities, such as the FCC or local law enforcement, especially if you suspect malicious activity.

Training Staff on How to Recognize and Respond to Ghost Calls

  1. Awareness Training: Provide training to your staff on how to recognize the signs of a ghost call and what steps to take if they receive one.
  2. Call Handling Procedures: Establish clear procedures for handling phantom calls, including who to contact and what information to collect during the call.

Regularly Reviewing and Updating Your VoIP System’s Security Measures

  1. Security Audits: Conduct regular security audits of your VoIP system to identify and address potential vulnerabilities.
  2. Firmware and Software Updates: Regularly update the firmware and software of your VoIP devices to protect against known vulnerabilities.
  3. Stay Informed: Stay informed about the latest security threats and best practices for securing your VoIP system.

By following these best practices, you can effectively deal with ghost calls and minimize their impact on your VoIP system and business operations.


In conclusion, ghost calls are a common challenge faced by many VoIP users, but with the right approach, they can be managed effectively. By understanding what phantom calls are, recognizing their potential dangers, and implementing best practices for prevention and response, you can safeguard your VoIP system and ensure uninterrupted communication for your business.

To recap, here are the key points discussed in this article:

  • Ghost calls are incoming phone calls that appear to come from nowhere and can indicate underlying issues in your VoIP system.
  • These calls can be dangerous, leading to toll fraud, disruption of VoIP system performance, and compromise of system security.
  • Identifying these calls involves recognizing signs such as unexplained call logs, increased call volume, and abnormal behavior.
  • Managing and preventing phantom calls requires setting up security measures, updating firmware and software regularly, and configuring VoIP settings strategically.
  • Best practices for dealing with phantom calls include documenting and reporting incidents, training staff, and regularly reviewing and updating security measures.

We encourage you to take proactive steps in managing phantom calls to protect your VoIP system and business operations. If you need expert advice or solutions for managing ghost calls, don’t hesitate to contact Wondercomm. Our team of VoIP experts is here to help you navigate the complexities of VoIP technology and ensure that your communication system runs smoothly and securely.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this article has provided valuable insights into managing ghost calls in your VoIP system.

Share Article

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Cart

No products in the cart.