FCC Orders Mobile Service Providers To Block Scam Text Messages

March 18, 2023

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted its first regulations specifically targeting the increasing problem of scam text messages sent to consumers.

FCC stops scam texts

The new rules will require mobile service providers to block robotext messages that are highly likely to be illegal.

Carriers will be required to block text messages that come from "invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers." Carriers must also block texts from "numbers that the subscriber to the number has self-identified as never sending text messages, and numbers that government agencies and other well-known entities identify as not used for texting," the FCC said.

Carriers will have to establish a point of contact for text senders so the senders can inquire about blocked texts.

The new regulations come as a result of a more than 500% increase in complaints about scam text messages in recent years.

From 2015 to 2022, robotext complaints rose from around 3,300 to 18,900 per year. And robotexts pose a unique threat to consumers: unlike robocalls, scam text messages are hard to ignore or hang-up on and are nearly always read by the recipient – often immediately. In addition, robotexts can promote links to phishing websites or websites that can install malware on a consumer's phone.

To protect yourself from text scams, do not interact in any way with suspicious texts, click on suspicious links, or provide any information via text or website.

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