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. The user either sends a payment, but does not receive the promised service, or a small amount is regularly debited from their account.

Examples of SMS fraud

The situations described below may arise from visiting 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 your number to register on the site or to 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. Small amounts are deducted from your phone balance on a weekly basis.
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 are sending an SMS. The cost of sending a message is higher then sending an SMS on your tariff. In addition, the website may not contain any information on prices, or this information maybe somewhere on the website that is hard to notice.

  3. Right after you send the message to a mobile number, a small amount is deducted from your phone balance. Sometimes daily deductions are taken from your phone.

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 about it:


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 message warning you that a fee is charged for using the service, or the message may be difficult to find.
  • It is likely that you will not receive the services you paid for at all or the services will not be provided in the way promised.

Additional security measures

The system's database of infected and fraudulent websites Protect contains more than 80,000 websites, however, some websites might not be included in the database if no complaints were received about it. 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! To disable SMS fraud protection, 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 half of the Settings page, click Show advanced settings.
  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 included in the list of websites suspected of SMS fraud by mistake, please contact us using the feedback form.

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