A fascinating initiative by RAFM test experts Araxxe saw them send over 3 million test SMS messages in order to measure A2P SMS bypass fraud. Extrapolating from test results to total traffic for 106 countries led Araxxe to calculate aggregate fraud losses of EUR492mn (USD583mn) across the whole of 2020.
The most infected businesses had a disturbingly high proportion of gray traffic. The worst SMS aggregator globally suffered a 98 percent infection rate. Gray traffic represented more than a third of total traffic in several countries.
Araxxe analyzed its results into six regions, which it represented as a series of maps showing financial losses and infection rates per country. The following table includes a link to each regional map and shows the total A2P SMS bypass fraud leakage in that region.
|Region||2020 A2P SMS Bypass Fraud (USD)|
|Africa and Middle East||$187mn|
|Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia||$117mn|
|SE Asia and Australia||$85mn|
Update 16:26 UTC, 17 March 2021: The title and opening paragraph have been reworded to clarify that the values of the estimated losses relate to the whole of 2020. We regret that a misunderstanding about when testing was performed wrongly gave the impression that these figures only covered losses in January 2021.