GLF and i3Forum Announce Industry Framework to Combat SMS Fraud

GLF SMS Charter Graphic

During ITW 2024, the GLF and i3Forum introduced an industry framework for international service providers to adhere to principles to combat rising SMS fraud, outlining principles such as target monitoring, blocking fraudulent numbers, and information sharing. This initiative aims to restore trust within SMS as a channel.

London, UK, 20th of June 2024 – The GLF, a leadership body representing the international connectivity industry, and i3Forum a membership-funded organization of the international communications ecosystem, have announced the publication of a new industry framework designed to combat fraudulent activities. This is an important step towards addressing the rising issue of fraud in the SMS channel. This initiative comes in response to the increasing misuse and exploitation of SMS, a channel that has grown to become truly ubiquitous since Neil Papworth sent the world’s first text message, “Merry Christmas,” on 3 December 1992.

With over 8.8 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, the relevance and magnitude of SMS is undeniable. However, the GLF Annual Report 2023 highlighted a concerning trend: the number of carriers reporting an increase in the volume and impact of fraudulent messaging traffic had nearly doubled over the past 12 months. This surge in fraud poses significant financial and reputational risks to businesses, consumers, and end-users in the telecoms industry.

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence Traffic has further exacerbated the urgency for a unified response. Recognising this, the GLF and i3Forum have collaborated to create a simple yet effective framework that aims to restore trust and integrity in the SMS channel. This Commitment outlines best practices and guidelines for carriers and businesses to identify, mitigate, and prevent fraudulent activities.

Key Principles:

  • Target and Monitoring: Establish targets for the prevention of fraudulent traffic which should be included within management reporting.

  • Processes: Adhere to i3Forum recommended processes to detect and avoid fraud.

  • Blocking: Implement measures to block identified fraudulent numbers and ranges.

  • Payment Flows: Take all reasonable actions to avoid payment flows to the instigators of fraudulent traffic.

  • Reporting: Commit to sharing information regarding suspicious traffic flows with upstream and downstream parties.

I welcome this strong industry statement and commitment to expand our collective fight against fraud in SMS. The work we have done collaboratively across the GLF and with the i3Forum to combat voice fraud has had a significant impact on the market. Our aim is to deliver the same for SMS by removing financial incentives and processes that have led to the loss of trust in SMS. SMS is the only globally pervasive channel that supports consumers and businesses which makes this commitment as an industry to protect the channel is welcome, necessary and urgent. I encourage all international service providers active in the space to come forward, sign the commitment and adhere to its principles”, said Eloy Rodriguez, Chair of the GLF's Anti-Fraud Working Group and Chief Wholesale Officer at Telefónica Global Solutions.

When carriers sign this Commitment, organisations commit to adhering to these five principles, ensuring a proactive stance against fraud while maintaining compliance with relevant regulations and upholding contractual rights and obligations.

We are proud to be part of this significant initiative alongside GLF. This framework is a testament to our industry's dedication to safeguarding the integrity of SMS communications. By uniting our efforts and sharing critical information, we can effectively combat fraudulent activities and protect both businesses and consumers from the growing threat of SMS fraud. Our collective action is crucial to maintaining the trust and reliability of SMS as a vital communication channel,” said Christian Michaud, Vice Chair of the i3Forum.

The GLF and i3Forum encourages all stakeholders in the telecoms industry to adopt and adhere to the guidelines set forth in the document. Through collective action and commitment, the industry will be able to effectively address the challenges posed by SMS fraud and continue to provide a secure communication channel for users worldwide.

The 28 companies who have already signed their commitment to these principles are as follows:

  • Airtel Business

  • Angola Cables

  • Apelby

  • Axiata

  • Bayobab

  • bics

  • BT

  • BTS

  • CMC Networks

  • DT

  • du

  • e&

  • GMS

  • HGC

  • iBasis

  • Identidad

  • Legos

  • Orange Wholesale

  • Reliance Jio

  • Retelit

  • stc

  • Sunrise

  • Telarix

  • Telefonica Global Solutions

  • Telin

  • Telstra

  • TIM

  • UGI

Join the fight against fraud today! Sign the Commitment, the international wholesale industry framework.

For further enquiries, please contact:

Cristina Sanchez

Senior Programme Manager, GLF

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