The number of fraudulent text messages you get on your smartphone may be about to go down. Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it had adopted new regulations that will require wireless companies to block scam text messages.
The FCC's press release stated:
The Report and Order adopted today requires blocking of text messages that appear to come from phone numbers that are unlikely to transmit text messages. This includes invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers. It also includes numbers that the subscriber to the number has self-identified as never sending text messages, and numbers that government agencies and other well-known entities identify as not used for texting.
In addition, wireless providers will be required to create a point of contact for users to call to inquire about scam text messages.
The FCC stated that from 2015 to 2022, complaints about scam texts went up from 3,300 to 18,900 per year. It points out that unlike scam robocalls, which can be easily ignored, text messages are almost always read immediately by the people getting the text. If users interact with them it could result in malware being downloaded to a phone, or the user getting hit by a phishing scheme.
The agency will be taking public comments on future ideas to make providers block scam texts. Of course, all mobile phone owners can do their part by not interacting or clicking on links from suspicious texts, and they should also delete those texts. They can also forward any suspicious texts to SPAM (7726).
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