The Federal Communications Commission voted last week to adopt rules against scam text messages sent to consumers amid calls for taking further regulatory action in the area of text messages.
Under the rules, carriers will be required to block text messages considered “highly likely to be illegal” including those that originate from phone numbers that are either invalid, unallocated — meaning they haven’t been assigned yet, or otherwise unused.
A copy of the order can be accessed by clicking here.
The FCC is also seeking comment on a proposal that would apply Do-Not-Call protections to text messages, similar to how the process works for phone calls. Such a move would be intended to block what is known as the “lead generator loophole” in which companies can take advantage of a consumer’s consent to receive text messages to deliver hundreds or thousands of messages from other marketers.
There were 10.7 billion spam texts reportedly sent in February — about 39 for every person living in the United States.
“Scam artists have found that sending us messages about a package you never ordered or a payment that never went through along with a link to a shady website is a quick and easy way to get us to engage on our devices and fall prey to fraud,” said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement.
The FCC also adopted a second rule, requiring 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 will allow senders to inquire about blocked texts.
Companies in the accounts receivable management industry that communicate with consumers via text messaging have been fighting with carriers for years to keep their messages from being blocked or labeled as spam.