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Operators have banned SMS forwarding from banks to protect against fraudsters

MOSCOW, 25 Oct – PRIME. Mobile operators in Russia have closed the function of forwarding bank SMS to prevent fraud, RIA Novosti was told in the press service of the companies. At the same time, the expert doubted that this particular measure played a significant role in reducing the activity of swindlers, which was noticed in the fall.

The Central Bank criticized the insurance of cards from the actions of fraudsters

In the summer, the largest banks and the Central Bank warned about the scheme of scammers with redirection. Phone scammers, under the guise of a support service for mobile operators, convince bank customers to enter a short command on their phone, after which all SMS messages sent to the victim’s number come to the attackers. Having a card number, a CVV code and the ability to receive one-time passwords intended for a person via SMS, a fraudster can easily make purchases on the Internet on behalf of the victim, as well as register in a personal Internet banking account and gain access to all accounts.

Last Friday, VTB reported that it recorded a decrease in the activity of fraudsters against retail customers in September and October, and the development of processes on the side of mobile operators played a big role in this: they have disabled the ability to forward bank SMS. In response to the agency’s request on this topic, almost all mobile operators informed the agency that they had completely banned the forwarding of messages from banks. “Any SMS from short numbers or alphanumeric numbers (from banks, shops and other services) in the MTS network cannot be forwarded,” the operator’s press service said.

MegaFon said that they do not have the ability to forward bank messages. This allows us to prevent fraudulent actions against our subscribers, explained Sergey Khrenov, director for preventing fraud and loss of income at the company. The same was reported in Tele2. The Beeline press service did not comment.

Alfa-Bank reported that the credit institution “comprehensively cooperates with mobile operators on a wide range of issues.” And Otkritie Bank reported that redirection is not the most significant risk event that is controlled by the bank. “The bank has been interacting with mobile operators for several years in terms of countering fraud. The information provided by operators is not the key to building an effective anti-fraud system, but it is important in the fight against social engineering,” said Ilya Suloev, director of the bank’s information security department.

According to the coordinator of the Moshelovka platform, Evgenia Lazareva, the problem of fraud using the technology of redirecting bank messages is losing its relevance in itself. At the same time, according to her, SMS redirect should be prohibited “everywhere and unconditionally.” And if this function is enabled by default and without the participation of the consumer, then this is the responsibility of the operator from the point of view of law and justice – he must compensate for the losses of the subscriber, the expert pointed out.

As for the significance of such a measure, it is unlikely that it was it that greatly influenced the decrease in the activity of intruders, Lazareva added, commenting on VTB’s statement. “Our observations allow us to conclude that the reasons lie in the difficulties of withdrawing funds, the destruction of the energy infrastructure and communication channels used by the attackers on the territory of Ukraine,” Lazareva concluded.