The Federal Communications Commission is cracking down on scam texting, adopting its first set of rules aimed at the practice.
Scam texts have been a growing problem, with many of them illegal. The agency says the volume has increased a whopping 500% in recent years. What’s more, scam texts can pose a greater threat than scam calls since it can be difficult to block them. The FCC is working to address the issue, much like it has been cracking down on scam phone calls.
Unveiled today, the FCC’s new rules would require carriers to block texts from suspect numbers:
“The Report and Order adopted today requires blocking of text messages that appear to come from phone numbers that are unlikely to transmit text messages,” the FCC says. “This includes invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers. It also includes 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. A second rule will require each mobile wireless provider to establish a point of contact for text senders, or have providers require their aggregator partners or blocking contractors to establish such a point of contact, which senders can use to inquire about blocked texts.”
The agency also proposes changes to the Do-Not-Call Registry to include text messaging:
“Today’s action also seeks public comment on further proposals to require providers to block texts from entities the FCC has cited as illegal robotexters,” the FCC adds. ” It also proposes to clarify that Do-Not-Call Registry protections – that is, prohibiting marketing messages to registered numbers – apply to text messaging and closing the lead generator loophole, which allows companies to use a single consumer consent to deliver robocalls and text messages from multiple – perhaps thousands – of marketers on subjects that may not be what the consumer had in mind.”
Hopefully, the FCC’s efforts will significantly reduce what has become a plague for many consumers.