Generated SMS Traffic / Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT)

The convenience of SMS communication has transformed the way we connect with others. However, with this convenience comes the risk of exploitation, and one such threat is Generated SMS Traffic, a practice that preys upon unsuspecting mobile carriers and businesses. In this blog, we’ll delve into what Generated SMS traffic is, how it operates and what measures can be taken to guard against it.

What is Generated SMS Traffic?

Generated SMS traffic, is a deceptive scheme where scammers and vendors manipulate the telecommunication system to generate revenue, primarily at the expense of telecommunications carriers, and businesses. The core of the scheme revolves around sending a large volume of OTP SMS messages to generated mobile numbers created by the bots e.g. +17194000001, +17194000002 etc.

How Does Generated SMS Traffic Work?

A scammer builds a bot to register fake accounts. A one-time passcode (OTP) SMS is sent to mobile phones by the bot. 

The scammer collaborates with an SMS aggregator to intercept SMS traffic based on the generated mobile numbers. These messages are not sent upstream for final delivery, a fake positive delivery receipt is sent back to the client and the bot verifies the account registration which results in fake conversion rates and no cost incurred by the scammers for terminating the SMS messages.

Protecting Against SMS Fraud

Companies can reduce fraudulent attacks by placing a few preventive and detection techniques into practice:  

Track OTP SMS conversion rates (CR), if any spikes in traffic is observed, check the mobile numbers to identify any suspicious sequential mobile number formats.

Monitor locations where brands have spikes in traffic which had no marketing to drive traffic.

Send your vendor samples of suspicions activity, at times it’s not your vendor doing this, it could be a partner that they use to terminate traffic.

Our NOC teams monitor traffic trends and spikes in realtime to avoid this. By working together and staying informed, we can make it more challenging for scammers to profit from their illicit activities and create a safer and more trustworthy SMS messaging ecosystem.