Advertisement
Engadget
Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

FCC makes its first rule to block scam robotexts official

Mobile providers are now required to block messages that are 'highly likely to be illegal.'

Milan_Jovic via Getty Images

Last month, the FCC proposed a new set of rules designed to combat the nuisance of robotext scams. Those rules are now official: not only will carriers be required to block messages that are likely to be illegal, but the new order also takes the first steps toward closing a loophole that allows scammers to dodge Do-Not-Call Registry protections.

Specifically, the rule targets text messages that come from numbers that are "unlikely to transmit text messages," citing unallocated, unused or invalid numbers, as well as numbers for government agencies and other "well-known entities" that don't send text messages. The order also hopes to close the "lead generator loophole," that allows companies to interpret a consumer's "consent" to a call as permission for other marketers to add them to a robocall list.

The announcement makes a point of saying that while these kinds of robotexts already fall under the Telephone Consumer Protection act, the new rules will give carriers more tools to help them actively block scammers. Even so, the best way to prevent being scammed is to protect yourself.