The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter on behalf of 51 state and territory attorneys general to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to a request for comments on an FCC proposal to help cut down on unwanted text messages. In the letter, the AGs express their support for the proposal, which would require mobile wireless providers to block texts from invalid, unassigned, or unused numbers, and from numbers on a Do Not Originate (DNO) list.
Attorneys general work to protect consumers in their states and territories and have long been at the forefront of the fight to reduce the number of robocalls that plague Americans. As lawmakers crack down on robocalls, scammers are now shifting to text messages to run the same scams. Just like spam calls, spam texts are an irritation and can result in the loss of millions of dollars through phishing texts, imposter scams, and links containing ransomware. In 2021, the FCC received more than 15,000 consumer complaints about unwanted texts and, in 2020, scammers stole more than $86 million through frauds perpetrated via scam text messages.
The bipartisan coalition of 51 attorneys general support the FCC’s proposal to require mobile wireless providers to block unlawful text messages at the network level if they originate from fraudulent numbers. Further, the attorneys general are asking the FCC to continue pushing the wireless industry to develop call authentication technology for text messages so people can know if the texts they receive are from spoofed numbers and law enforcement can investigate where these texts are coming from.