Saturday, September 18, 2021
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How To Trace A SMS Header

By Rushi Mehta: SMS Headers are used by Banks, Marketing Companies, Registrations providers etc for sending bulk SMS. However, fraudsters also use the same for sending bulk phishing messages. Lately, we have seen SMS pertaining to Amazon Part-Time Jobs.

Sample SMS:

Header is BH-148594.

Fraudulent marketing SMS

TRAI has mandated header registration for transactional, promotional messages and also has provided facility to trace the message origin.

These registered companies provide facility to end users (clients) to send bulk SMS. Fraudsters misuse SMS header on 2 ways.

  1. They register a shell company using co-working space and apply for SMS Header to send fraud SMS.
  2. Fraudster go to genuine companies as a client to avail feature of SMS headers.

How to trace?

Step 1: https://smsheader.trai.gov.in

Step 2: Clicking on continue may prompt an OTP on email. Enter the same.

Step 3: Enter Header Information. BH is read as BSNL network was the exit network that was used to send SMS. H stands for Haryana but there could be discrepancy in the data.

Also it is to be noted that BH does not mean BSNL is providing facility to send SMS. It could be other telecom operator as well. BSNL is just exit network.

Approved Telecom Operators to send SMS:

What next?

  1. The company can be enquired for why was it involved in sending the SMS.
  2. Physical verification of companies. There are chances the companies may be fake companies.
  3. TRAI-DOT to be informed on misuse of the SMS Headers.
  4. Telecom companies may be asked for frequency of SMS sent through Headers. Ex. “part time amazon” keyword could be given to telecom operators to get details on how many such SMS were sent through their network.
  5. Truecaller or other phishing detection apps along with telecom operators to be notified for such phishing content for stopping.

Infographic to share in groups:

  • The writer – Rushi Mehta is a Trekker, Hacker, Meditator and Enjoyer of Life ! The story first appeared in his Medium blog.

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