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Protect: shield against SMS fraud

If you sign up to a website using your mobile phone or send an SMS to a mobile number, you may become a victim of fraud. You may find that even after sending a payment, you don't receive the promised service, or that a small amount is regularly debited from your account.

Examples of SMS fraud

The situations described below may occur if you visit fraudulent or infected sites (please note that a website that was secure yesterday may be infected today). They may also be the result of malware on your computer.

Note. Malware may intercept information that you enter on websites and send it to fraudsters. Therefore, we strongly recommend using antivirus software.

Registration on a website via your mobile phone
  1. The site asks you to enter your mobile phone number under various pretexts. For example, the site asks for you number in order to register, prove that you are not a robot, to activate software updates, to prevent your social network account from being blocked, and so on.
  2. You receive an activation code on your phone and are asked to enter it on the site.

  3. By entering the activation code, you activate a paid subscription.
  4. A small amount of money starts being deducted from your phone every day.
Sending a message from your phone to a mobile number
  1. You are asked to send a text message (SMS) from your mobile phone to a number shown on the site.
  2. You send the SMS. The cost to send this message turns out to be higher than it should be according to your cellular plan. In addition, the website may not contain any information on prices, or this information is hidden away in an unnoticeable location on the site.

  3. Immediately after you send the SMS to a mobile number, a certain amount is deducted from your phone. In some cases, money starts being withdrawn from your phone every day.

Blocking fraudulent websites

Yandex monitors websites connected with SMS fraud and phishing, and stores their URLs in a special database. If you try to visit a website linked to SMS fraud, Yandex.Browser blocks the dangerous webpage and inform you of it. You'll receive a message in your browser window and the icon will appear on the right side of SmartBox.

Attention! 

We strongly recommend that you do not visit this type of website. Visiting these types of resources can be dangerous for the following reasons:

  • If you do, you will be asked to perform actions that will result in money being debited from your mobile phone account. There might not be a warning that you are signing up for a paid service, or this information may be difficult to find.
  • It is likely that you will not receive the services you paid for at all or they will not be delivered exactly as promised.

Additional security measures

Protect has a database of infected and fraudulent websites that contains more than 80,000 websites. However, some such websites might not be included in the database if complaints have yet to be received about them. Take the following precautions to protect yourself from hackers:

  • Do not enter your mobile phone number on sites that you do not completely trust.
  • Do not send messages from your phone to numbers shown on websites.
  • Avoid transferring any personal data or data required for e-payments (bank card numbers, PIN codes etc.).

Disable protection

Attention! If you don't want to be protected against SMS fraud, you need to completely disable protection against malicious software and websites in your browser. We do not recommend this.

To disable malware protection

  1. Click the icon  Settings.

  2. In the lower part of the Settings page, click the Show advanced settings button.

  3. In the Privacy section, disable the Protect from malicious websites and software option.
  4. Click Done and restart the browser to apply the changes.

If Yandex blocks your website

If you believe that your website has been mistakenly included in the list of websites suspected of SMS fraud, please contact us using the feedback form.

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