How Do We Detect a Number From a SIM Farm? There's an API for That!

Product highlights
December 20, 2018

Welcome back to our “There's an API for That!” series. At this point you must be thinking, ‘Don't fraudsters have something better to do with their time than attempt to rip me off?' We agree! The new Bojack Horseman season is really good, and a better way to spend a few hours. But alas, these foes are committed to fraud and one of the most intricate scams involves the SIM farm.

Here's how the SIM farm scam works. These folks will buy thousands of SIM cards, activate them and then use them to verify new phone numbers during account registrations, opening you up to all kinds of fake user fraud. Not great, Bob! This method would work around basic user verification providers, but fortunately at TeleSign we have a secret weapon:  Subscriber Status.

Subscriber status is an add-on functionality to our PhoneID API that allows us to know WHEN a phone number was activated, so if say a fraudster was activating thousands of SIM cards and in turn attempting to register these numbers with accounts, we would know about it. Your platform would shut it down and someone would feel pretty stupid having just wasted a bunch of time and money on now worthless pieces of silicon.

Here's how it works:

If you've been with us from the beginning you've now learned how we verify phone numbers, detect virtual VOIP numbers, spot other types of shady phone numbers and now even numbers that come from a SIM farm. That's all great, but fortunately there is so much more our APIs can do.Next, we'll talk about all the cool things you can do now that you have a verified phone number tied to each account."

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