Geo permissions

One way to block fraudulent messaging traffic is to restrict the set of countries your account can send messages to. Plivo uses geo permissions to help curb SMS and voice fraud. We’ll block (and not charge for) any messages or calls sent to countries to which sending is not allowed. Each Verify request is made from an application that’s mapped to a subaccount. You can access your applications and the subaccounts they’re mapped to on the Plivo console.

SMS geo permissions

To manage your SMS geo permissions, navigate to Messaging > Geo Permissions on the console. Select the subaccount to which you’ve mapped your application, then select a country to enable outbound messaging toward it. Messages to destination countries not selected will be blocked. You can filter the country list by selecting specific geographic regions or countries.

Geo permission configurations are applied immediately to your outbound SMS traffic. Any new messages sent using the API or messages queued in our system that are yet to be processed are subject to the changes. Messages to blocked countries will fail with error code 450. If you use the subaccount you specified for Verify with the SMS API, the same geo permission configurations will apply.

Voice geo permissions

As with messaging, Plivo can protect your account from fraud by restricting the set of countries your account can call. If, for example, you intend to place calls to numbers in North America only, you can disable call routes to all other continents. Similarly, if you’re running an inbound call center, or your use case doesn’t involve outbound calling to PSTN numbers, you can block outbound routes to all countries as a precautionary measure.

To manage geo permissions, navigate to Voice > Geo Permissions on the Plivo console.

Here you’ll see a list of all countries. You can filter the list by selecting specific geographic regions or countries. Geo permission configurations are applied immediately to all calls initiated via Plivo APIs.

Calling premium rate numbers

Premium rate numbers are a special case of voice calling. These numbers cost callers more than normal numbers. Part of that charge is paid to the service provider, which puts premium rate numbers at high risk of being exploited via traffic pumping, a type of telecom fraud in which bad actors artificially inflate traffic to their premium rate numbers. When done across countries, this type of toll fraud is known as International Revenue Share Fraud (ISRF).

Most businesses never need to call premium rate numbers, so by default Plivo blocks calls to all phone numbers with high-risk prefixes as a way to prevent unwanted charges.

Plivo has identified thousands of premium rate and high-risk prefixes. You can export a list of these prefixes from the Voice > Geo Permissions screen on the High-Risk Permissions tab. Plivo regularly updates this list based on factors such as the rates associated with the premium numbers, call patterns, and third-party trends.

If you have a legitimate need to make calls to premium rate or high-risk numbers, you can request activation of high-risk permissions for your account or a particular subaccount by contacting our support team and providing them with details of your use case.