Every now and then, to disturb the everyday life of us compulsive communicators via smartphone, a curious sachet appears that we were about to forget about its existence.
They are the legendary sms, priceless until a few years ago. And today used in very rare cases. Indeed, let’s face it, almost only when we have to receive a code to enter to verify our credentials on some site.
It is no coincidence that the various telephone rates, which now offer packages of gigabytes and unlimited calls, almost listlessly include a swarm of short message services.
Are text messages therefore increasingly forgotten and harmless? Not exactly, if a very recent decision by AGCOM is directed against them – in a certain sense. Let’s find out what it is.
He “cash for sms”
We said that, in fact, text messages are used less and less. And so there are many mobile phone users who, at the end of the month, find themselves short of gigabytes and who crave the upload of their tariff plan. But who, in the same period, almost never sent a text message.
In short, the old messages remain there. But here it is for some time there have been several sites that, no more, no less, buy unused text messages. And at what rates? The figures fluctuate, and range roughly from 0.75 euros for each text message to a few tens of euros per sim.
The process of these messages is well explained by the document published on the AGCOM website on Thursday 30 June. That is one day before the publication of the press release.
In the documents we can read: “AGCOM has detected the diffusion of some applications that allow private holders of mobile telephone contracts to sell, for a fee, the SMS not consumed. These SMS are then used by the companies that manage the applications to provide corporate messaging services, in violation of current legislation. “
The press release then illustrates the fact that it is the owners of the numbers who sold the sms, the ones responsible for what will happen next.
We read in fact: “This phenomenon, provided by unauthorized subjects, generates various criticalities. The first is the violation of the contract between the private user and the telephone operator. In addition, the companies that manage the applications send text messages with the telephone number of the end users who sold them to them.
consequentially, the responsibility for the content of the messages sent lies with the holders of the number.
Finally, the application managers do not pay the due sms termination prices ”.
AGCOM against apps that pay for unused text messages
This complex scam sees the owners of telephone numbers who sell unused text messages to scrape a few euros, in short, responsible for any illegal behavior. Or rather: accomplices in fraudulent activities which, according to AGCOM, gave rise to a turnover of several million euros.
Ma AGCOM itself announces that, in contrast to the phenomenon, “it has adopted an action plan, which provides for the blocking of applications identified on the basis of supervisory activitiespursuant to article 98-decies, paragraph 2, of the Electronic Communications Code.
This plan also commits operators to monitor the effects of the measures adopted and constantly inform AGCOM. Operators must also inform all users about the illicit nature of these practices and the risks associated with joining these initiatives (eg blocking of the SIM by the operator for abnormal use). “
The statement of June 30 reads what AGCOM has already done against apps that pay for unused text messages.
Several applications (the list is attached to the document) have been removed from the Apple and Google app stores. Furthermore, AGCOM, an acronym for Communications Guarantee Authority, is working with similar European authorities to extend the measure to the whole of the Union.
The Technical Committee on the Security of Electronic Communications
This initiative is part of the actions developed by the Technical Committee on the security of electronic communications. Which is made up of “the National Operators adhering to the inter-operator procedure for combating fraud resulting from the work of the technical panel pursuant to art. 6 Agcom resolution no. 418/07 / CONS. The Special Unit for Radio Broadcasting and Publishing of the Guardia di Finanza and the Postal and Communications Police Section which collaborate with the Authority also participate in the work. “
The objectives are to minimize the risk of fraud in the new electronic communications services, and “raise awareness of the possible risks of fraud in the electronic communications market and towards end users.”