What the Tech: FCC spam texts

How new rules may keep spam text messages from reaching your phone.
How new rules may keep spam text messages from reaching your phone.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 6:45 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - If you’re annoyed by spam and robo-phone calls, you’re probably getting just as frustrated with the scammer’s latest tactic of sending spam text messages.

The Federal Communications Commission says the number of spam texts has increased by 500% in the last few years. Now the commission is taking action.

The new rules about scam texts are like rules set in place by the FCC about robo-calls. It puts the responsibility of stopping them on the wireless carriers. This new rule calls on wireless companies to verify a text is coming from an actual phone that can and has sent text messages. Otherwise, the message won’t go through.

The idea is to prevent scammers from texting hundreds of numbers simultaneously using computer software.

Scam texting is a bigger problem than robocalls which are, for the most part, only annoying. Scam calls are often labeled as “likely spam” so you can ignore them. Scam texts, on the other hand, are always seen by the person getting one. They’re also more dangerous because they usually contain links to malicious websites.

The use of scam texts is called “smishing.” Some try to get you to open a link that can ask you to log in to an account which would give the scammers your account username and password. These are often texts pretending to be from a delivery driver saying your package is on hold, or texts from someone pretending to have the wrong number.

What you can do right now to help the FCC and carriers block numbers is to report them. When you get a scam text, don’t respond. Junk it and report it which should prevent the number from sending other text messages.

The FCC asks if you receive a scam or spam text message, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by forwarding it to the number 7726 (SPAM).

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