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SMS Fraud Proves a Growing Problem

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SMS Fraud Proves a Growing Problem

February 27, 2017
By Steve Anderson Contributing Writer

We all know how valuable short messaging service (SMS) messaging is; whether used to bring quick alerts about new products and services, or just flash deals, to customers, or connecting individuals to other individuals, the uses run the gamut. Something so useful is also a frequent target for miscreants, and SMS fraud is thus on the rise. A new report from iconectiv (News - Alert), meanwhile, spells out just how bad things are getting on this front.

Word from the Communications Fraud Control Association offers the basic threat in a nutshell; reports suggest that around $4.3 billion is lost every year thanks to SMS fraud, and the iconectiv report shows many of the different potential avenues fraudsters have to attack regular users via this highly-popular messaging format.  Moreover, sufficient amounts of SMS fraud received by users—even when not leading to huge money-losing possibilities—poison the well of customer satisfaction and leave affected customers looking elsewhere for service.

Ranging from spoofing and phishing scams where fraudsters go looking for account information via fraudulent means to the so-called “grey route” fraud of application-to-peer systems, SMS fraud  covers a lot of different areas and makes finding solutions difficult. When there are this many holes in the dike, so to speak, one little Dutch boy's fingers just don't hold up.

Those looking frantically for good news in all this can take heart; the iconectiv study also details some of the new anti-fraud measures available for users to put in play and take some of the bite out of SMS fraud.

This may be the high point of the entire study; we're dealing with a field that's used just about every day by large amounts of people, and not being able to protect these people from as much as possible is a sure recipe for customer disloyalty in large numbers. Sure, network providers can't do the whole job—there's a certain level of personal responsibility involved here—but nor should the end user be on the hook for the whole job of security. Protection needs to start at the network level, and end at the end user. If the network can't at least thin the threats down to a manageable level, then the end users will likely wonder if some other network can do the job and switch flags accordingly.

If nothing else, the iconectiv report will deliver useful insight into the nature of SMS fraud, and how important protective measures along the whole spectrum are. That's important for anyone to bear in mind, and reminds us all of the value of vigilance. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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