New FCC rules could force wireless carriers to block spam texts

It's hoping to stop the messages before they ever get to your phone.

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Under Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the Federal Communications Commission is seeking to create new rules targeting spam text messages. Like another recent proposed rulemaking from the agency, the policy would push wireless carriers and telephone companies to block the spam before it ever gets to your phone.

“We’ve seen a rise in scammers trying to take advantage of our trust of text messages by sending bogus robotexts that try to trick consumers to share sensitive information or click on malicious links,” Rosenworcel said. “It’s time we take steps to confront this latest wave of fraud and identify how mobile carriers can block these automated messages before they have the opportunity to cause any harm.”

Combating spam calls and texts has been a focus of the FCC under Rosenworcel. In addition to recently issuing the largest fine in its history, the agency established a Robocall Response Team to coordinate its efforts against spam callers. The need for action is pressing. In 2020 alone, the FCC received approximately 14,000 complaints about unwanted text messages, representing a 146 percent increase from the year before. As part of the FCC's rulemaking process, the public will have a chance to comment on the proposal before the agency decides whether to implement the policy.