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FCC adopts first anti-scam text rules

The new rules will require wireless carriers to block texts from illegitimate numbers.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking action against pesky scam text messages, passing its first regulations targeting the illegal texts.

The new rules adopted by the FCC will require mobile service providers to block certain "robotext" messages that are likely to be illegal. The organization is also looking into further actions they can take against scam messages.

According to the FCC, scam texts have been an increasingly bigger problem in recent years, with complaints rising from 3,300 to 18,900 from 2012 to 2022.

"Robotexts", or automated, illegal text messages, can contain links to phising websites, malware or other harmful material.

The Report and Order adopted by the FCC requires blocking of messages that appear to come from phone numbers that are "unlikely to send text messages", which include invalid, unallocated or unused numbers, as well as numbers that government agencies other the user identifies as not used for texting.

Another rule passed will require each mobile wireless provider create a point of contact where users can inquire about blocked texts.

The FCC is also asking for public comment on other proposals that might help to combat robotexters.

The passed rules also proposed to clarify text authentication measures and Do-Not-Call Registry protections, which prohibit marketing messages to registered numbers. The change is intended to close loopholes that allow companies to deliver automated calls or messages to people who have not consented to the messages.

The FCC also gave other advice on how users can protect themselves from text scams, such as not interacting with suspicious messages, not clicking on any suspicious links and not providing any information through texts or websites.

Consumers can also file complaints with the FCC, forward unwanted texts to SPAM (7726) and are encouraged to delete all suspicious messages.

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