Best PracticesDealership Communication Tools

Combating Inbound and Outbound SPAM at your Dealership

Spam isn’t a new problem. In fact, dealerships have been battling spam for years. More recently, however, spam has increasingly affected businesses on both incoming calls and outgoing calls. Not only are dealerships receiving a growing number of inbound spam calls which tie up their lines and add expense to their phone bills, they’re also seeing their dealership’s phone number flagged as “spam” or “scam likely” when trying to contact current customers or potential buyers.


Inbound spam occurs when your dealership receives an unwanted or unsolicited phone call that is part of a mass recipient list — none of whom expressed interest in receiving such calls. Spam calls typically come in the form of robocalls, scam calls, telemarketers, or general nuisance calls. All of your dealership’s numbers are fair game for spam callers, from the local number you’ve owned for 30 years to the toll-free tracking numbers on your website or Google My Business. Your numbers can be included in massive banks of numbers spam dialers take advantage of. These calls chew up your lines and waste your employees’ time.

Here is how you can prevent inbound spam:

Use a phone bridge that requires callers to make a manual selection.

A phone bridge or IVR is the initial greeting you hear when you call a business that sounds like,“Thank you for calling ABC Dealership. Press 1 for service, 2 for sales, and 3 for parts.” Bridges have many benefits, one of which is that they block robocallers from connecting to your dealership. When a robocall reaches the bridge and a selection isn’t made, the call is unable to get through the bridge and ever reach your team. Furthermore, our studies have shown that bridges increase the number of legitimate callers who connect with a dealership employee who can help.

Ensure your phone bridge has a kill call contingency.

Once you implement a bridge, make sure you set it up to disconnect callers who don’t make a selection after a certain amount of time. This prevents spam calls from looping in the system for hours (a costly issue). Car Wars sets up most phone bridges to disconnect after the greeting plays three full times without a valid selection.

Leverage intelligent spam detection.

Artificial intelligence has come a long way in assisting the detection and prevention of spam. By analyzing thousands of data points, Car Wars’ proprietary algorithm intelligently detects spam and fraudulent calls. Furthermore, Car Wars employs machine learning on an ongoing basis to identify new fraudulent callers and add them to a blacklist.


“Spam” or “scam likely” is an approach that’s increasingly used by phone manufacturers, carriers, and third-party apps to protect consumers from “known” spam phone numbers. If a phone number is flagged as spam, the consumer will see a call ring in with a “spam” or “scam likely” denotation, or possibly have the call blocked altogether without an alert. As a dealership, this affects your business when an outbound call is placed to a current customer or potential lead and your call shows up as “scam likely” on his or her caller ID, or worse, is blocked altogether from the caller seeing that call.


The logic and experience vary from provider to provider, so there’s no perfect answer to how “scam likely” detection works. We do know extreme call volume seems to trigger numbers being listed as spam, as do consumers reporting a phone number as spam. While consumers are now more protected from actual spam, legitimate businesses making legitimate outbound calls to their customers and prospects are negatively impacted. Often, your efforts to pursue prospects or follow up with existing customers can trigger a “scam likely” message on customers’ phones. Hence, the more your dealership is pounding the phones trying to sell cars, the more likely you are to get flagged as spam to your customers. Just like you can’t stop picking up the dealership phone, you also can’t stop calling your customers — it’s how you stay profitable as a business.

How do you combat outbound spam?

Register your outbound caller IDs with designated phone carriers.

The risk of detection can be slightly reduced when your dealership’s outbound caller ID numbers are registered with designated phone carriers. In doing so, your lines are registered as a legitimate business and verified as coming from the proper source. Car Wars’ Support Team can register your lines with your dealership’s correct information.

Implement unique lines for your agents.

Using a single outbound caller ID for all of your dealership’s outbound calls heightens the risk of being flagged as spam due to high daily call volume. Having an individual line for each agent allows every salesperson to have his or her unique tracked and recorded phone number to give customers which rings back directly to the agent. Essentially, this allows you to divide the current number of outbound calls made on your dealership’s one and only outbound line by the number of agents you have making calls. Furthermore, text-enabled agent lines give dealers another channel of communication to customers.

Car Wars offers Individual Agent Lines to allow every salesperson to have his or her own unique tracking line to give customers that is tracked, recorded, and rings directly to him or her. Furthermore, these lines are all text-enabled for a seamless texting experience with leads.

Add your outbound phone number in email communication.

Include your dealership’s outbound caller ID or unique agent’s line in templated customer emails. Many phone operating systems will recognize the number if the agent has emailed that customer previously, and identify it with the dealership or salesperson’s contact information to display on the customer’s caller ID, for example: “Maybe: Tom Jones.”

As a last resort, refresh your outbound caller ID.

If all other efforts fail to eliminate the “scam likely” denotation on your outbound caller ID and mitigate the issue, consider swapping out your number for a new tracking line. This may reduce the risk of being flagged by providers for high call volume, while still allowing returned calls to be routed directly to your dealership. Car Wars offers unlimited tracking lines and refreshed lines to its clients. However, this should be used as a last line of defense, as regular refreshes will be required to maintain an unflagged status.


If you have questions about spam or would like to learn more about Car Wars or both, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 833-768-0309 or [email protected].


Senior Level Sales and Marketing Professional. Sales Management, Business Development, Strategic Partnerships, and Account Management with a focus on ...