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FCC Targeting and Eliminating Unlawful Text Messages

“The Federal Communications Commission today proposed new rules to fight back against malicious robotext campaigns. The agency will take public comment on ideas to apply caller ID authentication standards to text messaging and require providers to find and actively block illegal texts before they get to consumers…The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released today proposes and seeks comment on applying caller ID authentication standards to text messaging. It proposes requiring mobile wireless providers to block texts, at the network level, that purport to be from invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers, and numbers on a Do-Not-Originate (DNO) list. It also seeks input on other actions the Commission might take to address illegal texts, including enhanced consumer education. The FCC’s Robocall Response Team recently issued a Consumer Alert on the growing problem of scam robotexts. This warning noted the increase in consumer complaints to the FCC about unwanted text messages. It explained how scammers use texts to solicit information, defraud consumers, and/or spur responses from the consumers to possibly sell their number as a target. Consumers should look out for signs of possible scam texts including unknown numbers, misleading or incomplete information, misspellings, mysterious links, and sales pitches.

Consumer Tips:
· Do not respond to suspicious texts, even if the message requests that you “text STOP” to end messages.
· Do not click on any links.
· Do not provide any information via text or website.
· File a complaint.
· Forward unwanted texts to SPAM (7726).
· Delete all suspicious texts.
· Update your smart device OS and security apps.
· Consider installing anti-malware software.
· Review companies’ policies regarding opting out of text alerts and selling/sharing your information.
· Review text blocking tools in your mobile phone settings, available third-party apps, and your mobile phone carrier’s offerings.”

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