Account Security / SMS Toll Fraud

SMS Fraud Detection: Why It Matters

July 20, 20239 min Read

SMS Fraud Detection

ALERT: Your bank account has been compromised! Please click this link to secure your account!

Let's say you receive this SMS text message on your phone claiming to be from your bank. The message informs you that suspicious activity has been on your account and urges you to take immediate action to secure your funds. These messages aim to trick recipients into divulging sensitive information or engaging in fraudulent activities. By sending deceptive texts, these scam artists hope to exploit the immediacy and trust associated with text messaging, making it crucial for individuals to exercise caution when receiving unsolicited or suspicious text messages.

Try our SMS Fraud Calculator and find out how much your business can save!

SMS fraud detection and why it matters for businesses

SMS fraud, or SMS phishing or smishing, refers to fraudulent activities conducted through text messages (SMS). It involves using deceptive techniques to trick individuals into revealing personal information, such as passwords, credit card details, or other sensitive data.

SMS fraud and smishing typically begin when fraudsters send an unsolicited text message sent to the victim's mobile phone number. The message often impersonates a legitimate organization, such as a bank, government agency, or popular service provider, to gain the recipient's trust. For the sender, the content of the message usually includes a call to action, urging the recipient to take immediate steps to avoid a negative consequence or gain a supposed benefit.

In fact, phone numbers and email are key attack elements for fraudsters. Scammers often obtain phone numbers fraudulently to send unsolicited text messages with suspicious links or requests for personal information. It is important to be cautious and vigilant when receiving such messages and to check phone bills and bank accounts regularly for any unauthorized charges. Blocking the sender's number and reporting the message to relevant authorities can also help prevent further fraud attempts.

Fraudsters can deliver malware right to the victim's phone through a text message link. Once installed, the malware can extract sensitive information from the user's accounts without their knowledge. It is important to be cautious while opening text messages from unknown numbers and avoid clicking on any links that seem suspicious as they may contain malware that can compromise the security of your device.

This vulnerability is a significant concern for businesses due to the following reasons:

  • Reputation and Trust: If a business's name or brand is in fraudulent SMS messages, it can damage its reputation and erode customer trust. The company's association with fraudulent activities can lead to a loss of credibility and potentially result in customer attrition.
  • Financial Losses: Fraudulent messages may trick customers into disclosing their payment card details or personal information, leading to unauthorized transactions or identity theft. Businesses may be held responsible for any financial losses suffered by their customers, resulting in potential liabilities and legal consequences.
  • Customer Experience: Customers who fall victim may become frustrated, lose trust in the business, and have a diminished perception of the security measures implemented by the organization.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Depending on the industry and the region in which a business operates, specific regulations and compliance requirements may be related to data protection and privacy. If customer data is compromised or misused, a business may face legal and regulatory repercussions, including fines and penalties.
  • Operational Disruptions: Addressing customer complaints, investigating fraudulent activities, and implementing necessary security measures can consume time, resources, and manpower. These disruptions can divert attention and resources from other critical business operations.
  • Business Relationships: If fraudulent messages are sent to a business's partners, suppliers, or employees, it can disrupt communication channels and create distrust in the organization's ability to maintain safe business practices.

This type of fraud can also be perpetrated through malicious apps. These apps can scam users into signing up for bogus premium SMS subscription services, resulting in inflated phone bills. One such app was found to be able to bypass international message charges, leading to increased traffic and revenue loss for mobile operators. It's important for both businesses and subscribers to be vigilant against these types of fraud, and for app stores to take measures to prevent the distribution of malicious apps. Another tactic is the use of URLs in messages that appear legitimate but are actually bogus.

Introducing the first-ever $1M SMS Toll Fraud Warranty, covering costs for telecommunications service providers affected by these attacks. Learn more today!

The importance of choosing the right SMS fraud detection solution

Choosing the right solution is crucial for effectively combating fraudsters. An inadequate detection solution cannot detect and prevent fraudulent activities. As a result, it may generate a high number of false positives and false negatives, causing disruptions and eroding trust among users. Additionally, an ineffective solution fails to adapt to evolving fraud techniques, leaving organizations vulnerable to new and emerging threats.

Integration and scalability challenges further hinder the effectiveness of a subpar solution. Incompatibility with existing systems and an inability to handle growing SMS traffic volumes result in operational disruptions and hampered fraud prevention efforts.

Choosing a good solution means considering reputable solution providers with a strong track record in fraud prevention. Also, look for advanced technologies like machine learning, real-time monitoring, and analysis capabilities. And seek feedback from other users to gauge the solution's effectiveness and reliability.

Organizations can effectively detect and prevent this type of fraud, minimize false positives and negatives, and adapt to emerging fraud trends by selecting a robust and reliable solution. This protects the organization's financial well-being, reputation, and security, ensuring a safer environment.

Key features in an SMS fraud detection solution

When choosing a solution, there are several key features you should look for to ensure its effectiveness in combating this threat. These features include:

  • Real-time monitoring and alerts: The solution should provide real-time monitoring of SMS traffic, allowing for immediate detection and response to fraudulent activities as they occur.
  • AI-powered analysis and detection: Advanced technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence enable the solution to learn from patterns and behaviors, adapt to evolving fraud techniques, and improve detection accuracy over time.
  • Customizable rules and thresholds: Customizable rules and thresholds in a detection solution provide the flexibility to define specific fraud detection criteria and risk thresholds based on an organization's unique needs and risk tolerance.
  • Integration with existing systems: Ensure the solution integrates well with your existing systems, such as messaging gateways, CRM systems, and fraud management platforms. Compatibility with your infrastructure and IT environment is crucial for seamless implementation and operation.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Support: Verify that the solution complies with relevant regulations and industry standards, particularly if your business operates in a highly regulated industry. Ensure it provides necessary features to support data protection and privacy laws compliance.

By evaluating and prioritizing these key features, you can choose the right detection solution that aligns with your organization's requirements and effectively wards off fraudsters.

Choosing the right SMS fraud detection solution

Choosing the right detection solution for your business requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are some steps to help you make an informed decision:

  • Assess your specific needs and risks: Take a closer look at your business requirements and the risks you identified. Consider factors such as the volume of SMS traffic, the type of fraud you're most vulnerable to, integration requirements with your existing systems, and the level of customization and flexibility you need from the solution.
  • Research and compare different solutions: Gather information about other detection solutions available in the market. Explore their features, capabilities, and technical specifications—and see if they align with your identified needs.
  • Read reviews from other customers: Seek feedback from other businesses implementing the detection solutions you are considering. Check online forums, review websites, and testimonials to gain insights into their experiences. Look for feedback on solution effectiveness, ease of integration, accuracy of fraud detection, and overall customer satisfaction.
  • Consider pricing and support options: Evaluate the solution provider's pricing models. Some may charge based on the volume of SMS messages or offer subscription plans. Establish your budget and assess the level of support and customer service the solution providers provide. Ensure they offer timely support, regular updates, and training resources to help you maximize the solution's value.
  • Request a trial or demo: Contact the shortlisted solution providers and request a trial or demo of their technology. This will allow you to test the solution in a controlled environment and assess its performance and usability firsthand.
  • Evaluate scalability and future-proofing: Ensure the chosen solution can handle increasing volumes of SMS traffic as your business grows. Can the solution adapt to evolving fraud tactics and technologies, with regular updates?
  • Consult with experts: If needed, consult with industry experts or engage with a consultant specializing in fraud prevention. They can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your specific business needs.

Arkose Labs for SMS fraud detection

Arkose Labs is a leading bot management solution leveraging machine learning and human intelligence to detect and prevent this threat. Arkose Labs can identify real-time SMS fraud, avoiding financial losses and protecting a business and its customers.

Arkose Labs' bot prevention platform can identify these fraud patterns that other detection systems may miss, including SMS toll fraud. Using machine learning, Arkose Labs' platform can identify new fraud patterns as they emerge, enabling organizations to stay ahead of cybercriminals' tactics—and avoiding online spam and abuse.

Talk to an expert today to learn how Arkose Labs can secure your business from the business of bots and human-driven cyberattack.