How Text Messages are a Game-Changer in Fraud Prevention

A few ways Eno® and other proactive tech can help you be more informed, productive, and safer online


Over a decade ago, tech insiders predicted “the death of SMS” text messaging. Bad news for them: it’s still going strong. And short message service (SMS) isn’t just sticking around—it’s evolving.

Text messages aren’t just for chatting anymore. They’ve become a preferred way to get important alerts and real-time updates. But the real future of SMS is in text exchanges that aren’t just interactive but are transactive—meaning you can get things done, right over text.

It’s exactly how Eno, the Capital One® Assistant, helps you to stop fraud with a text. When Eno spots suspicious activity on your account, it will proactively reach out via text. That’s not all—Eno helps you resolve the charge. If the charge is safe, confirm with a text back. If it’s fraud, Eno will help you get started to resolve it. You can even text back and Eno will understand your reply.

Here are a few more ways SMS technology can change the way you get things done.

Schedule, confirm, and set reminders for upcoming events

For all the hours we spend texting, SMS can help us save time—and miss fewer appointments. Made a haircut but need to change the time? Want a reminder for that dental checkup that’s 6 months out? These days many service providers—from acupuncturists and restaurants to doctors and airlines—offer the option to receive SMS alerts that help us manage appointments and reservations.

Track orders, shipments, and deliveries

When you’re expecting an important package that requires a signature (or you’d rather wasn’t left sitting on your porch), opt to get real-time text updates about the shipment status to help you avoid missing the delivery window. Most major shipping providers offer SMS alerts, which let you interact with the service, track packages in real-time, and get delivery alerts on a per-package basis.

Make your accounts more secure

SMS also plays a big role in online security. It’s a key component of two-factor authentication (2FA), one of the best ways to protect your security online. Even if thieves have your credentials, 2FA can stop them in their tracks. It works like this: when a login to a 2FA-enabled site or app is attempted, a verification code is sent by SMS text. Without physical access to the account owner’s phone, the attack stops there. Banks, password managers, social sites, and many email services offer 2FA-enabled logins for extra peace of mind.

Get the updates you don’t want to miss—including location-based alerts

Keeping alerts out of our inboxes helps ensure we see them in a timely fashion, which makes texts and push notifications an ideal way to receive important updates. Some apps will send reminders via text, like an alert that it’s time to run back to feed the parking meter or a quick ping to let you know your food delivery is right around the block. Some businesses use geofencing technology to tap into your phone’s GPS and send you highly-relevant SMS alerts when you’re nearby, like a coupon for a retail location or a severe weather alert.

It’s easy to make the case for SMS: It’s efficient, convenient, and any mobile phone has built-in SMS capability. SMS strategies will continue to adopt more transactional capabilities, and keep an eye out for a more widespread roll out of rich communication services (RCS), texts that will allow you to carry out more complex tasks such as booking a hotel room via text. Whether you opt in or out, SMS is here to stay.


Unless noted otherwise in this post, Capital One is not affiliated with, nor is it endorsed by, any of the companies mentioned. All trademarks and other intellectual property used or displayed are the ownership of their respective owners. This article is © 2018 Capital One.