WASHINGTON, D.C. — If you’re tired of getting spam text messages, now may be the time to voice your displeasure with the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC proposed new rules to combat malicious robotext messages. These unwanted texts are often the work of scammers trying to gain personal information, defraud consumers or even try to get a response from the consumer for the purpose of selling their phone number as a target..
In 2020, the commission received around 14,000 consumer complaints about unwanted text messages. That’s a 146% increase from the number of complaints in 2019.
Through the first six months of 2022, the FCC has already received 8,500 such complaints.
“The American people are fed up with scam texts, and we need to use every tool we have to do something about it,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a released statement. “Recently, scam text
messaging has become a growing threat to consumers’ wallets and privacy.”
The FCC has put together new rules to target these scam and spam texts, with a public comment underway about the proposal.
If approved, it would apply caller ID authentication standards for text messaging. Mobile wireless providers would be required to block texts that come from invalid or unused numbers, and numbers on a Do-Not-Originate list.
“More can be done to address this growing problem and today we are formally starting an effort to take a serious, comprehensive, and fresh look at our policies for fighting unwanted robotexts,” said Rosenworcel.
The commission is also open to other ideas which could help combat unwanted texts. The full proposal has been posted on the FCC website.
The FCC recently issued a Consumer Alert about the growing problem of scam robotexts which included signs of possible scam texts and how to deal with them.
The public should watch out for any text messages that come from unknown numbers, have misleading or incomplete information, misspellings, mysterious links and sales pitches.
If you receive any scam texts or messages that appear to be suspicious here are some tips”
- Do not respond, even if the message request you “text STOP” to end messages.
- Do not click on any links and never provide information by text or through a website.
- Forward unwanted texts to SPAM at 7726.
- You can also file a complaint through the FCC Consumer Complaint Center.
- Delete all suspicious texts and make sure to update your device’s OS and security apps.
- Also consider using anti-malware software.
- Make sure to review any company policies regarding opting out of texts and selling or sharing your information.
- And finally review text blocking tools in your mobile phone settings, third party apps and through you mobile phone carrier.
The FCC will also partner with state Attorneys General across the country to pool resources for combating robocalls, robotexts and for investigations.