Modern means of telecommunications are being actively used for distributing all kinds of unwanted advertisement (so-called "spam"), which is a serious problem for the Internet as a whole. Low costs, anonymity, and, mostly, naive users make spam a lucrative source of income for many online fraudsters.
The problem described cannot be avoided within the mobile market, especially VAS (Value Added Services). More often than not, SMS services provider's partners are caught using fraudulent ways of advertising services they provide.
To state it clear, we are not associated with such actions in any way, and we strongly object dishonest behavior among our partners. This article describes our policy on the subject in detail, along with recommendations for the illegal acts prevention in partnership projects.
- We strictly prohibit the distribution of spam (using e-mail, ICQ, or by any other means) to advertise one's project regardless of the fact whether the advertising text contains direct instructions of sending an SMS, link to a site with such instructions, or a link to a site which redirects a user to any other resource containing such instructions;
- It is forbidden to deploy our services on websites which aren't mentioned in the appropriate setting of each service ((this includes so-called "mirrors");
- It is forbidden to deploy our services on sites parked on various free hosting services and without WHOIS-record of their own;
- It is forbidden to even attempt to confuse the end-user regarding the actual cost and/or purpose of the messages they send;
- It is forbidden to use technical restrictions provided by mobile carriers in purposes of sending SMS messages (more accurately, "fraud");
- It is forbidden to use SmsCoin as a means of writing off funds from phone bills by sending SMS messages to short codes;
- Service approved by the moderator is strictly forbidden to use for purposes different then those stated during service' activation;
- It is forbidden to use corporate or bonus programs of mobile carriers in order to write off funds from account balance, as well as acting in a ways that might be classified by a mobile carrier as fraudulent.
- It is strictly forbidden to provide pornographic content, which includes scenes of pedophilia, zoophilia, violence and other deviate actions, which are considered to be deviate sexual intercourse in world legal system
- It is forbiden to use our services for the purpose of fraud towards end-users. Fraud is considered to be an intentional failure to provide services to end-users who sent premium-SMS in accordance with instruction presented on the site, which uses the services of SmsCoin project.
In case of violation of at least one of the conditions mentioned above by the user, the account of the alleged user is blocked, and all account activities revoked accordingly. We also reserve the right to transfer all the data we have collected on such user's illegal activities to the local law enforcement authorities if we find it's necessary.
Given our continuous work with user database, we have decided that services registered in our system that aren't receiving a single incoming message for two or three weeks in a row, as well as user that haven't visited our website in a month or more, will be automatically deleted.
In case we have traced illegal activities what will happen is:
- We immediately block any service that doesn't meet the above restrictions;
- Some services go through preliminary moderation process upon creation, as well as during changes in key parameters;
- We review our partners' projects on a daily basis in an attempt to identify the possible violations;
- We have established an internal monitoring system that suppose to identify the exceeding number of messages sent from one particular number, the ratio of established and used passwords (applicable to sms:key), the number of errors users made and etc.
The above-mentioned measures, and many more enable us to prevent the most part of illegal activity while using the services we provide.
We are definitely interested in working with law-abiding partners that capable of an honest cooperation. If you think the last sentence describes you appropriately, you should review the list of recommendations we have gathered for you bellow.
We recommend the following:
- Make sure your profile is complete and accurate, personal WebMoney certificate is a good sign of honest intentions (we have the registrar passport status in WebMoney);
- If the service isn't accessible to the general public - please let us know;
- Declare strict attitude towards fraud activities;
- In case you provide specific service or product as a bonus for incoming messages, make sure that it is not being used by fraudsters. You can enable this by testing passwords for sms:key service or by entering the last few digits of the phone numbers for sms:bank and sms:transit.
- In case your domain/page address where our services are placed is changed please notify us accordingly.
If you have noticed a violation of the rules above and/or fraudulent activities using our services, please let us know as soon as possible.
Each month our partners receive fraud activity report along with their revenue share. Fraud activity report is in a fact a list of phone numbers that messages were sent from but for some reason there was no payment action for the delivered services. In this case, neither mobile carrier nor aggregator or website owner won't receive a payment for it.
Due to the above-mentioned, SmsCoin team presents its recommendations from fraudulent activities.
According to SmsCoin statistics, most popular projects amongst fraudsters are on-line game websites, file sharing and storage websites and alike. Those SmCoin partners who work with project that have higher probability for fraud activities, usually use sms:bank and sms:transit services. Sms:transit service is easier to take advantage of from fraudster's perspective because the text of the message is permanent as oppose to sms:bank, that is fully developed payment gateway with an unique text for each and every message.
In addition to its extensive global coverage including over 80 countries as well as a wide variety of unique and universal solutions, one of the greatest advantages of SmsCoin's openness in working relations with its partners. Partners are not limited in any way – for example, payouts are not withheld due to unreliable short codes or message filtration (similar course of action is used in various projects).
In order to prevent possible exposure to fraud activities we recommend using fraud limits on partners' side as follows:
- assign the account (both for on-line gaming and file exchange websites) to specific phone number (or several phone numbers)
- limit balance replenishment process to a certain amount of phone numbers or to a limited period of time
- limit messages amount to: — those sent during a certain period of time (for example, no more then 1 message per minute)
- temporarily limit balance replenishment process for on-line games or an account to a certain amount
- if you are using sms:transit service it will the best to define its parameters according to sms:bank; this way all transactions will have its own unique text.
— those sent to the account from a particular phone number over a certain period of time
All the above-mentioned information is given as an example, and may vary depending on the characteristics of the certain project. Before creating a separate script, please review and evaluate the capabilities of your project in order to affectively prevent it from fraudulent activities.