Share This Article
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has announced its first set of rules aimed at reducing the number of scam text messages that Americans receive. The new measures will require carriers to block texts from three types of numbers, and they are expected to significantly contribute to tackling the rapidly growing problem.
The FCC made the announcement in a press release titled “FCC Adopts Its First Rules Focused on Scam Texting“. The release states that complaints about scam texts have grown more than 500% from 2015 to 2022. The release further emphasizes that scam texts threaten consumers more than scam calls because they are hard to ignore or hang-up on and are nearly always read by the recipient.
The new rules require carriers to block text messages that appear to come from phone numbers that are unlikely to transmit text messages. This includes invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers, as well as numbers that the subscriber has self-identified as never sending text messages. It also includes numbers that government agencies and other well-known entities identify as not used for texting.
Another useful measure will require each mobile wireless provider to establish a point of contact for text senders, which senders can use to inquire about blocked texts. The FCC has also asked for public feedback on further proposals to require providers to block texts from entities the FCC has cited as illegal robotexters.
Additionally, the FCC proposes to clarify that Do-Not-Call Registry protections apply to text messaging and close the lead generator loophole. This loophole allows companies to use a single consumer consent to deliver robocalls and text messages from multiple marketers on subjects that may not be what the consumer had in mind. The Commission will also take further public comment on text authentication measures and other proposals to continue to fight illegal scam robotexts.
- Meta Launches Verification Program, Offering Blue Checkmark Badge and Exclusive Features
- Music Industry Hits Record High Revenue with Streaming Leading the Way, According to RIAA
Apple currently offers a “Delete and Report Junk” button in its Messages app, which reports the details to Apple and the carrier. However, the feature seems to be most effective at reducing further scam messages from the same number. Frequently, future robotexts come from a new number. So hopefully, the new carrier requirements will start to cut down on that aspect of the issue.
The FCC reminds consumers not to interact in any way with suspicious texts, click on suspicious links, or provide any information via text or website. Consumers can also file complaints about scam texts at the FCC’s Consumer Complaints Center.