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SMS Fake Delivery Receipts

The SMS messaging industry has been experiencing exponential growth of SMS fake delivery receipts in recent years. They are by far the most serious threat to the quality of SMS delivery and the most lucrative source of revenue for the companies which generate them. Fake delivery receipts are very hard to detect and, at times, almost impossible to eliminate completely.

There are two main sources and causes of fake SMS delivery receipts, namely MNO and SMS aggregator caused fake DLRS, which I will try to examine and propose certain solutions and tips.



1. Fake delivery receipts which affect all traffic. This is the most primitive approach and is rarely used nowadays.

1. Since fake DLRs affect all SMS traffic, it should be quite easy to detect by sending a test sms to a mobile test number, either your own or via 3rd party service provider, such as TelQ Telecom. You need to simply send a test message and verify real delivery.

2. Fake DLRs which affect all traffic besides whitelisted SMS test numbers.

2. In order to avoid your testing numbers getting whitelisted, we suggest not escalating fake DLR message examples to untrusted partners. Otherwise, sooner or later, they will end up being whitelisted. If possible, use several SMS test number providers (especially if you don’t have to commit).

3. Certain aggregators may give fake delivery reports exclusively on bulk traffic. Hence, separate tests even on non-whitelisted test numbers would not help.

3. You may want to send a small trial campaign to a few dozen numbers, one of which would be your own mobile test number.

4. At times you may encounter instances of SMS fake delivery receipts on a random % of your traffic. This is extremely difficult to detect, especially if the percentage is small.

4. This is probably the most difficult problem to overcome and there is no easy solution for it. However, increasing the amount of test numbers and SMS tests themselves, as well as listening carefully to the feedback of your clients may increase your chances of eliminating such routes.

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