WhatsApp Away SMS Fraud

July 17, 2023

SMS Fraud is on the Rise

Top 5 Statistics and how WhatsApp business can protect your brand!

SMS Fraud is top of the mind recently with the Irish toll road operator eFlow being subjected to a very visible SMS fraud campaign. To be clear, eFlow had nothing to do with this SMS fraud and their systems were never compromised. However, to their customers that were taken in by the fraud, this doesn’t matter. eFlow has spent the past number of weeks advertising the public through radio, print and social advising educating the public of the fraud and not to be caught out. SMS has become like email, and end user perception is that its only good for Spam and Fraud. Rich messaging services such as WhatsApp business is a more secure channel to interact with customers. We will explore more on this week’s blog.  

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SMS Fraud Types

There are three main types of SMS fraud that end user’s experience.

Smishing: Criminals look to get personal or bank details through SMS.

Types of Texts You Should Delete Immediately | Reader's Digest

SMS Spoofing: By changing sender info, trick users into believing the message is from legitimate business/Person.

Phishing Attack Examples and How to Protect Against Them | FRSecure

SMS SPAM: Unsolicited and unauthorized sending of SMS messages, usually in bulk to end users.

How to Use Promotional Sms to Inspire Action

SMS Fraud / Smishing on the rise – Top 5 Statistics

SMS Fraud is on the rise and growing year over year. Here are a few statistics.  

1. Smishing stole $20.6 billion (USD) in 2022 (105% YoY) in U.S. Source: Robokiller: 2022 Insights & Analysis)

2. Less than 35% of the US pop. knows what smishing is. Source: Safety detectives

3. Push payment fraud in the UK hit £583.2m in 2021 (39% YoY). Source: UK Finance

4. 1H21, there was a 700% increase in Smishing attacks in the UK. Source: Which?, 2021

5. 18 and 25 years old most vulnerable to smishing attempts.  Source: ARXIV

How WhatsApp business can protect your brand against fraud

While business A2P (Application to Person) SMS can be great for simple notifications or delivery of One Time Passwords, there is lots of downsides with A2P SMS:

  • SMS Fraud & phishing creates trust with end users.
  • No Verified Sender. SMS Spoofing can trick users into thinking the sender is a known person or business.
  • No Encryption. All communication on SMS is in clear text. Anyone can intercept and read.
  • No ability to do rich messages e.g., insert videos, pictures .
  • No ability to do interactive customer journeys beyond simple responses.  
  • Inserting links in SMS is considered a very poor practice due to the association with Smishing.

If we compare rich messaging such as WhatsApp business platform, this provides a far superior channel to engage customers and clients.

  • WhatsApp offers a business verified badge and visible check mark. This can only be provided after significant background checks and cannot be spoofed.
  • Encrypted and Secure Communication
  • Easy to Use Interactive Workflows with Rich Media. For example, images, lists, quick replies.
  • Ability to offer a message concierge, questions, and workflows.
  • Conversation History, and easy to find for end user.
  • Messaging Rarely Muted (Notifications get Through). People look less and less at their SMS.
  • 98% open rate of WhatsApp and rich messaging


OMNI channel messaging including WhatsApp business platform has transformed the way we communicate and interact with customers. From personalized customer support to automated notifications and reminders. With verified sender, encrypted communications and interactive communications means this is a far more secure and safe channel than email and SMS to communicate to your customers – OTPs, notifications, interactive workflows.

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