FCC Proposes New Rules to Crack Down on Scam Texts

The regulations would require wireless providers to block messages that "are highly likely to be illegal," the agency said.

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FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel

FCC chairperson Jessica Rosenworcel has proposed new regulations to address the rise in scam text messages.

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Federal Communications Commission chair Jessica Rosenworcel on Wednesday proposed the first regulations aimed at protecting consumers from text-message scams.

If the rules are adopted, the FCC said, they would require providers to block robotext messages that "are highly likely to be illegal," including those that appear to be from invalid, unallocated or unused phone numbers.

They would also extend Do Not Call Registry protections to text messaging and require wireless companies to provide a single point of contact for all text senders.

Read on: Check Your Messages: Scam Texts Are on the Rise  

Rosenworcel said this is just the first volley in the agency's attack on scam texts.

"We are going to keep at it and develop more ways to take on this growing consumer threat," she added.

The call blocker app Robokiller estimates that an average of nearly 478 million spam texts a day were sent last month. Text scammers took US consumers for more than $86 million in 2020, the most recent year for which data was available.

The proposed FCC regulations will be voted on at the agency's next monthly meeting on March 16.  If adopted, they would go into effect after they were published in the Federal Register.

Read on: FCC Investigating if Internet Providers Exaggerate Their Coverage