The acting chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Jessica Rosenworcel, announced plans to require the commission to write a new set of federal rules that would regulate spam texts, as they currently exist for robotic calls, including a rule that could oblige phone companies to prevent spammers at the network level.
She said: “In a world where so many of us rely heavily on texting to stay connected with our friends and family, ensuring the integrity of this communication is vitally important. It’s time we take steps to confront this latest wave of fraud and identify how mobile carriers can block these automated messages before they have the opportunity to cause any harm.”
Although robocalls have slowed down thanks to a bipartisan bill called the TRACED Act, which gave the FCC and the Justice Department more tools to fight robocalls and scammers, SMS scams are on the rise.
According to an August report by RoboKiller, so far in 2021, more than 47 billion spam text messages were sent, a 55% increase from 2020.
While the FCC received about 14,000 complaints about unwanted text messages in 2020, the commission had already received 10,000 complaints about scanned texts in 2021.