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Verify SMS Fraud Detection

Verify SMS Fraud Detection is in Private Beta!

This Verify feature is currently in the Private Beta maturity stage, which means that:

You'll need to contact sales to request access to this feature.

Please note that Verify SMS Fraud Detection currently only supports the SMS channel.

What is Verify SMS Fraud Detection?

This feature helps prevent SMS related fraud on the Twilio Verify product by monitoring your current and historical SMS traffic. When there are unusual fluctuations in SMS traffic patterns in a specific location, this feature will automatically block the prefix of the destination of the suspected fraud.

What type of fraud does it detect?

This feature detects SMS pumping fraud. SMS pumping happens when fraudsters take advantage of a phone number input field to receive something via SMS. If the form does not have enough controls, attackers can inflate traffic and exploit your app. This feature does not detect VoIP, burner phones, or anything voice fraud related.

How does it protect my account?

It blocks SMS transmissions to any destination deemed fraudulent, saving you potential charges to your account.

What parameters does Twilio use to detect fraud?

Twilio uses a baseline of expected verification data to find outliers in behavior based traffic patterns. We combine behavioral data with known explicit fraud schemes to filter out bad behavior.

Our model is always changing and uses multiple parameters to determine fraud. Examples of things we may temporarily block could include:

  • Verifications to a specific region, country or locale we know is engaging in SMS pumping
  • Verifications in a country your Account has never sent SMS to previously
  • Verifications with parameters and characteristics that would suggest non-human behavior

Like any fraud prevention feature, there's a small chance our models may flag legitimate users as suspicious. We're constantly monitoring our results and adapting the fraud detection model to keep false positives extremely low.

If you suspect false positives:

  • Fall back to a different verification method like WhatsApp or Email
  • Reach out to your Solutions Architect or contact Twilio Support
  • [Coming soon] Add the number to the Safe List

To give you more control, we're adding a Safe List feature that will allow you to provide a list of numbers that should never be blocked. Get in touch to learn more about this upcoming feature.

What action(s) do I need to take?

Once the feature is enabled on your account, no further actions are needed on your part. This feature is automated and will keep you updated with email notifications that include the status of any potential fraud instances and a link to view more in your Twilio Verify logs.

How much does this feature cost?

There is no charge for this feature.

How do I enable SMS fraud detection?

There are currently 2 steps to enable this feature:

1. Reach out to our support team to enable SMS fraud detection on your account.

2. Once enabled on your account, turn on this feature within each Verify SMS Service. Go to the Verify product section in the Twilio Console and toggle the feature in the SMS tab of the service settings page.

SMS Fraud Detection. This feature helps to prevent unnecessary changes to your account as a result of fraudulent SMS traffic. On/Off Toggle. When enabled, Verify SMS messages will be monitored to identify and block likely fraudulent traffic.

How do I know it’s working?

When SMS fraud is detected on your Verify account, you will receive an email notification informing you of the event with a link to view more in your Twilio error logs.

What is the error message in the logs?

Error Log #60410 will show in the Twilio error logs when an SMS delivery is blocked by SMS Fraud Detection.

Twilio does recommend reviewing your Verify logs when you are notified of an SMS fraud event to ensure that the country prefix being blocked on your behalf is valid. We also recommend reviewing your Verify Geo Permissions feature to make sure that destinations that are outside of your business focus are disabled.

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Need some help?

We all do sometimes; code is hard. Get help now from our support team, or lean on the wisdom of the crowd by visiting Twilio's Stack Overflow Collective or browsing the Twilio tag on Stack Overflow.


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