Please think twice about  Alpha Headers


All of these pictures  are examples SPAM –  the Auspost one is scary – as it has come in on the back of the genuine Alphaheader message from Auspost.

If you want your SMS and MMS  communications to be trusted – PLEASE DON’T USE ALPHA HEADERS – as SPAMMERS can use your brand to build false trust with your customers, to extract information and commit fraud – and in the process tarnish your brand.  If you respect your customers and want to have a trust and respect based relationship – ONLY send from verifiable dedicated numbers.

This JBHiFi example is very scary in it is so plausible. The receiver did actually register with JB HiFi the week before to get an electronic copy of a receipt.

However, they knew there was no package waiting.   How scary is this – one click to a bad link that could have sucked all the personal  data off their phone and –  BINGO – exposure.

No organisation is exempt from SPAMMERS pretending to be your brand – unless you make a commitment to a dedicated mobile number that can be tracked and replied to for all marketing correspondence.


Number 1. 

Alpha headers can be copied. Example that will give you chills: I purchased from JBHiFi the other day and the person at the checkout asked if I would like a paper receipt or delivered to my phone. I said phone – I asked would they be using the number for any other purpose – the person said I don’t know. I still gave it.

I received the receipt, and JBHiFi had gone to all the trouble to send me an SMS from the alpha header JBHiFi telling me that if I pushed this link, they would send me a code to get my receipt. Which I did, the code arrived, I entered it on the JBHiFi site and I received my receipt.

However, then, days later, from the same Alpha Header, I received this clear phishing attempt, which is SPAM, and The SPAMMER/PHISHING attempt was clear to me a scam, because it didn’t have an OPT OUT REPLY STOP. So I didn’t open it…..BUT what if I had….. ? I could have had their crap installed on my phone, lost all my data, or worse had them troll my phone for personals. I am not over reacting here folks – 50% of all malware on phones comes from attacks like this.

Number Two. 

The client can’t reply to an alpha header – the number is not traceable. If you send from your dedicated number – the client knows its you, and will trust the messages that come from you in the future into their text inbox. Build your firms true identity in the phones of your clients. Build your brand in their hand.

Number Three: –

A phone number gives you a chance at two way conversational commerce, and if they could reply to you, and involve you in a conversation – its cheaper than a phone call, and it is the way they want to be communicated with.

Number Four.

Not all networks guarantee to deliver ALPHA headers for larger messages like MMS. You can still be charged by your TXT supplier – but some networks will not guarantee delivery of MMS if an alpha header is sent not a number

Number Five: 

2018 will be a BIG year for instant messaging your clients – make sure you set yourself up with the right foundations – and don’t create phishing holes for spammers who want to use your brand to SPAM.

As further support:

  1. Alpha’s can’t be replied to, so are viewed as higher risk by receivers
  2. Alpha’s can’t be replied killing 2way responses, text commerce and low friction acivity
  3. Alpha’s are being phased out in USA
  4. Alpha’s are the target of all SPAM and Phishing attacks
  5. Better to build the brand under a recognised send number, using SMS doubles, MMS and VCARD – and build your brand property in your clients phone

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