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Reduce the impact of Smishing & Spoofing by SMS through industry collaboration

Text messaging scams which trick consumers into sending money or sharing their account details with fraudsters are known as ‘Smishing’ (or phishing by SMS). Criminals send bogus texts which appear to come from a trusted sender.

MEF’s SMS SenderID Protection Registry was established to automate cross-stakeholder processes to reliably and quickly share information to facilitate an orchestrated blocking system. The online platform helps identify and block fraudulent SMS texts, protecting consumers, legitimate businesses and organisations falling victim to text messaging scams. It enables organisations to register the message headers used when sending text messages to their customers and limits the ability of fraudsters to impersonate a brand by checking whether the sender is the genuine registered party.

Global Industry Solution

In 2018, a cross-sector working group was set up to take a collaborative industry approach to tackling consumer fraud. As part of a market education and industry programme, in 2019, MEF became the independent secretariat of a trial of a Proof of Concept for an SMS SenderID Protection Registry backed by National Cyber Security Centre (government), UK Finance (Banking trade body) and Mobile UK (MNOs trade body).

In April 2020 the Registry supported an industry effort to prevent fraudsters sending scam text messages that were seeking to exploit the Covid-19 crisis with joint efforts continuing with this combat today. Read the full details here.

The success in the UK paved the way for the launch of a second Registry in Ireland in July 2021, followed swiftly by a third Registry in Spain later that same year.

With strong interest from numerous other Territories, we are optimistic further Registries will soon follow.

Reducing the impact of Smishing & Spoofing by SMS through industry collaboration enabled the UK Registry to move to an ‘Industry Solution’ in January 2022 with the Ireland & Spain Registries following suit in 2023.

With 70 Merchants participating across the board, the Registries help protect circa 200 bank and Government brands. UK alone has over 700 trusted SenderIDs registered along with over 3750 unauthorised variants being blocked on an ever-growing list, a 6th of which relate to the Government’s Coronavirus campaign.

The Registry also has the co-operation of the UK’s leading Aggregators as well as smaller messaging providers who understand the importance of industry collaboration.  The SMS Works, a UK SMS API provider has put together a guide to help the SMS industry identify and prevent potentially fraudulent SMS activity.  To request your copy please contact us using the form on this page.

Find out More

MEF’s SMS SenderID Protection Registry enables all stakeholders to collaborate in a coordinated effort to combat smishing & spoofing. If you want to find out more about this Industry Solution or would like to understand how it can help MNOs, merchants and messaging providers in other markets then please get in touch today.

Combatting Fraud: reducing the impact of Smishing & Spoofing by SMS through industry collaboration and consumer awareness.

Industry collaboration: MNOs, banks, government agencies and messaging providers with a direct connection can sign-up to the registry

Cross Sector Working Group:members of Mobile UK (MNOs), UK Finance (banks), MEF (messaging and solution providers) and the National Cyber Security Centre (Government agencies)

Alphatag SenderID : automated cross-stakeholder processes reliably and quickly share information in order to orchestrate blocking via whitelist and blacklist of alphanumeric short codes.

Read more

SMS SenderID Protection Registry announced to tackle SMS fraud

November 27, 2018

Industries unite to tackle SMS fraudsters exploiting COVID-19 texts

April 22, 2020

Industry views: A collaborative approach to tackling Smishing

June 17, 2020