Combat SMS pumping fraud with Twilio

[] 2 months ago

    SMS pumping is becoming an increasingly urgent problem for businesses sending SMS messages as it fraudulently drives up businesses’ SMS costs and reduces their conversion rates. This is an industry-wide problem that affects all providers and is a risk to many businesses.

    Twilio was the first to address this issue with Verify Fraud Guard, our SMS pumping detection and prevention solution built into our API for verifications, and we now have introduced this technology across our messaging APIs.

    What is SMS pumping?

    SMS pumping fraud, also known as Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT), occurs when fraudsters take advantage of mobile number input fields on websites or in apps to send SMS messages including one-time passcodes (OTP) or app download links. The fraudsters send these messages to numbers that they control and receive a share of the revenue from sending these fraudulent SMS messages. This drives up costs for businesses sending the messages.

    Twilio’s Solutions for SMS Pumping

    Twilio recognizes the scale of SMS pumping and the impact it has on our customers and is leading the industry in AIT prevention by implementing solutions that can automatically detect and block SMS pumping fraud. This ensures customers are protected from the fraudulent charges they would otherwise experience.

    With SMS pumping prevention solutions across Twilio’s messaging APIs, businesses can rest assured that they are being protected from fraud no matter their messaging use case.

    Verify Fraud Guard

    Fraud Guard is SMS pumping fraud prevention built into Twilio’s purpose-built solution for verification use cases, Verify. Fraud Guard comes included and automatically enabled with Verify and offers you control over your fraud prevention by providing three different modes, Basic, Standard, and Max, that enable you to make trade-offs between costs and false-positive rates. Across the different modes, Fraud Guard offers the highest efficacy rate in blocking fraud and the lowest false positive rate of all of Twilio’s SMS pumping prevention solutions. Twilio Verify Fraud Guard is backed by 100% guaranteed protection from SMS pumping fraud - terms and conditions apply.

    Verify Fraud Guard, the first SMS pumping solution to hit the market, has saved customers $30M in fraudulent costs between May 2022 and July 2023. If you have a verification use case, Verify is the optimal solution to ensure you mitigate the risk of SMS pumping fraud. Verify also provides a global network optimized for delivery and conversion, multiple channels including Push, WhatsApp, Voice, and Email, and the ability to abstract away the complexity of omnichannel user verification.

    SMS pumping protection for Programmable Messaging (Now in Public Beta!)

    If you have a notification, marketing, or other use case, you’re likely using Twilio’s Programmable Messaging API to send those messages. Programmable Messaging now offers SMS Pumping Protection in public beta, so you can opt in to automatic SMS pumping detection and prevention across your messaging use cases.

    SMS Pumping Protection for Programmable Messaging is now in public beta as of October 2023. You can enable SMS Pumping Protection today in the Twilio Console.

    Lookup SMS Pumping Risk Score

    SMS Pumping Risk Score in the Lookup API enables you to check whether a phone number is known or suspected to have been used in SMS pumping fraud schemes, and provides a score of the risk using a unique risk assessment model, incorporating signals from Verify Fraud Guard as well as other indicators. After receiving this information, you have the ability to decide whether or not to block the traffic.

    Other solutions

    In addition to these built-in options, you can take additional steps for fraud prevention with limits such as disabling geo permissions for countries you do not do business in or setting rate limits so you can’t send more than 1 message per a certain number of seconds to the same mobile number range or prefix.

    Twilio’s Solutions prevent SMS pumping fraud

    No matter your messaging use case, Twilio offers a solution that will protect your business from experiencing SMS pumping fraud. Though the amount of fraud each business experiences will fluctuate month to month, one US-based social media company was able to save $300,000 in their first month using Verify Fraud Guard by protecting themselves from SMS pumping fraud. Get started today with Verify, Programmable Messaging, and Lookup.