51 AGs Show Support for FCC Proposal Requiring Wireless Providers to Block Spam Texts

  • The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter on behalf of a coalition of 51 AGs supporting an FCC proposal meant to cut down on the number of unwanted text messages received by consumers. The letter was sent in response to an FCC request for comment on the proposal, which would require mobile wireless providers to block likely fraudulent text messages at the network level.
  • In the letter, the AGs note an uptick in the number of consumer complaints concerning unwanted text messages and theorize that because illegal robocalls have been targeted by federal and state law enforcement, scammers and bad actors have shifted to text message as an entry point for consumer fraud and identity theft.
  • The AGs urge the FCC to adopt the proposal to block text messages purporting to be from invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers, as well as numbers on a Do-Not-Originate (“DNO”) list. They note that, as with voice calls, text messages from such numbers are highly likely to be illegal and unwanted and the result of a scammer spoofing a telephone number when sending the message. The letter also urges the FCC to continue to encourage the wireless industry to develop caller ID authentication technology that can be used in the text messaging infrastructure, so that consumers and law enforcement can more easily identify and trace fraudulent texts.