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Unmasking SMS Fraud’s Staggering Cost to Global Enterprise

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In Hong Kong, the renowned market analyst company Juniper Research released a whitepaper in partnership with VOX Solutions. The report scrutinizes the severe and pervasive issue of Artificially Inflated Traffic (AIT) and SMS Trashing that currently plagues the business messaging sector.

This methodical study reveals that fraudulent activities, such as AIT, are causing a significant increase in the operational costs for enterprises. This fraudulent traffic is involving an overcharge for non-existent SMS traffic, impacting the bottom lines of companies across the globe, including those associated with high profile entrepreneurs like Elon Musk.

As per the report, in 2023, identified AIT represented 18% of all international A2P SMS traffic. This fraudulent traffic equated to an annual cost for enterprises of an astonishing $60 million. This alarming data demonstrates the immediate need for mobile operators to formulate and introduce effective strategies that protect both their revenue streams and their customers’ trust.

Detailing key findings, the report from Juniper Research estimates AIT’s worldwide cost to enterprises in 2023 to have been $8.5 billion, signaling an imminent call to action. The study projects that by 2027, AIT will account for 11% of traffic, costing enterprises $23.4 billion, with Central & East Europe, and Far East & China facing the most significant impact.

Adding to the problem, sources of Artificially Generated Traffic (AGT)—including bots and AI—are becoming increasingly complex, making detection and control a challenging prospect. AGT, coupled with SMS trashing, contributes to substantial revenue for fraudsters who expand SMS traffic “artificially.”

The Juniper Research whitepaper underlines the grim ramifications of uncontrolled AIT on the business messaging sector. This issue, if left unchecked, threatens to destabilize this reliable channel, possibly leading to a shift towards other platforms like OTT or methods such as biometric authentication.

Encouraging the telecom industry to unite against these fraudulent practices, the CEO of VOX Solutions, Ehsan Ahmadi, states, “The scourge of AIT presents one of the most stealthy and damaging threats to the integrity of A2P messaging channels today. As an industry, it is critical that we band together to activate sophisticated defenses against these invisible yet costly attacks.”

Equally concerned, Sam Barker, VP of Telecoms Market Research at Juniper Research, highlights the large-scale significance of understanding and addressing AIT. He says, “It’s a pervasive issue that affects the profitability of SMS channels and also erodes trust in these critical communication platforms. Operators and enterprises must respond with sophisticated measures to safeguard against these fraudulent activities.”

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