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Verify Fraud Guard

Verify Fraud Guard is in Public Beta!

This Verify feature for automatic SMS fraud detection is currently in the Public Beta maturity stage.

You can enable this feature in your Twilio Console by accessing the Verify Services page. From there, choose a Service to open its Service settings, select the SMS tab, and turn on the SMS fraud detection option.

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

What is Verify Fraud Guard?

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

How can I prevent false positives and mark known phone numbers as safe?

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
  • Add known phone numbers to the Safe List using Safe List API
  • Reach out to your Solutions Architect or contact Twilio Support
  • Temporarily disable Fraud Guard in Twilio Console

The Safe List feature provides an additional safety net against false positives, allowing you to mark known phone numbers as safe so they are never erroneously blocked by SMS Fraud Detection or Geo-permissions.

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?

You can enable this feature in your Twilio Console by accessing the Verify Services page. From there, choose a Service to open its Service settings, select the SMS tab, and turn on the SMS fraud detection option.

Select On to Enable SMS Fraud Detection

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.

How can I monitor SMS fraud on my account?

When SMS Fraud Detection is enabled on your account, you will have access to the Fraud Detection Insights dashboard on Twilio Console. The dashboard illustrates the impact fraud could have had without intervention, and also allows you to discover trends and insights that you can use to better optimize your product against fraud.

Screenshot of Verify SMS Fraud Insights Dashboard screen with title Verify SMS Fraud Insights and subtitle monitor fraudulent attempts to send SMS that were detected and blocked by Verify Automatic SMS fraud detection, Geo-permissions, and more.

To view your dashboard, go to Twilio Console and navigate to MonitorInsightsVerify Fraud. There, you’ll find metrics including:

  • Total Blocked Fraud Attempts: This is the total number of SMS verification attempts blocked by both Fraud Guard and Geo permissions.
  • Total Verification Attempts: This is the total number of SMS verification attempts initiated.
  • Estimated Cost Savings: This is the estimated amount of revenue saved by blocking the send of an outbound SMS verification attempt for a fraudulent number. This is calculated based on the destination country using the Twilio Standard SMS Pricing Guide. For example, if Twilio blocks 67,000 messages to Russia where SMS costs $0.144, we estimate $9,648 revenue saved. Actual amount of revenue saved may vary depending on your pricing plan.

Country

Amount of SMS Messages Blocked

Cost of Terminating Each SMS

Estimated Cost Saved

米国

14,000

$0.0075

$105

Kazakhstan

125,000

$0.1440

$18,000

ロシア

67,000

$0.1440

$9,648

Total Estimated Cost Savings

$27,753

These metrics can also be filtered or exported to a CSV for further analysis.

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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