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FCC blocks scam texts
© Yuliia Kaveshnikova |
Security & privacy

About time! FCC passes new rules to block (some) spam texts

SMS scams come in many forms, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is finally cracking down on perpetrators with a new piece of legislation. This action focuses on the service provider’s role in protecting its customers.

Read on for all the details and how it may help keep spam texts away for good.

How the FCC hopes to change the robotext game

In a landmark consumer move, the Federal Communications Commission is solidifying the rules regarding what it considers an acceptable unsolicited text message. Specifically, it’s the sender’s phone number being targeted.

Invalid, unallocated, or unused phone numbers will be flagged. As will numbers not used for texting that reputable authorities have identified, like the government and its affiliates.

These senders will be blocked from corresponding with you, thinning out the herd and, ideally, reducing the number of scam texts sent.

This decision puts much of the onus on mobile providers. It also mandates that they offer a point of contact that allows blocked senders to appeal their denial, just in case an innocent party is being blocked unfairly.

A bridge between text scams and the Do Not Call Registry will also be established. Essentially, this limits consumer correspondence that isn’t directly related to a single instance of consent.

This report notes that robotext scams have increased by over 500% over the past few years. Things might improve, although it will be a work in progress.

What else can you do about scam text messages?

The best thing you can do with a text message from an unknown sender is to delete it ASAP. Never interact with an unknown phone number. It can lead to many problems you don’t want to deal with.

Here are more ways to avoid scam texts:

  • Never click on a link in a text message if you don’t know the sender. If you have business with a company or government agency, ensure you visit the official website by navigating to the page in your browser instead of following a link.
  • When available, enable two-factor authentication. This is an extra step to protect your online accounts.
  • Some smishing scams use well-known retailers as a lure. If you didn’t buy anything from them, there is no reason why you should get a text. Ignore it and report the number as spam.
  • Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at That’s over 85% off the regular price!

If you receive scam text messages, you can file a complaint with the FCC here.

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