The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wishes to roll out a new set of rules to address spam texts, taking into account how complaints regarding the same went up by as much as 146 percent last year.
Taking a Stance Considering Rising Cases
Text message scams in the US are on the rise, and even this year, the number of spam texts so far, which sits at 47 billion, is up 55 percent from 2020. Last year, the FCC received some 14,000 complaints regarding scam texts, which, apart from being a whopping 146 percent higher from the year before, also cost Americans $86 million.
Keeping the same in mind, acting chairperson Jessica Rosenworcel has said that she will be talking to the Commission regarding the possibility of framing a new set of rules to govern spam texts, including those that have now taken the place of robocalls. In a statement, Rosenworcel has said that it’s time steps are taken to “confront” the new “wave of fraud.” Also important, she asserts, is the need to identify how such automated messages can be blocked by mobile carriers before they can cause harm.
She made her decision known through a tweet on Monday, wherein she said that she had had “enough with the bogus robotexts,” which trick users into sharing their personal info. She added that she has asked her colleagues at the agency to change the policies in a way that would help them “kick this fraud off devices.”
Scam Texts Rising as Robocalls See a Decline
Many of the scam texts doing the rounds these days have to do with COVID-19, with scammers posing as providers of free home testing kits and asking recipients to provide their personal information or upload their vaccination card, under the pretext of contact tracing. And there’s also the staples of online account recovery links, package delivery scams, and bank or payment app verification messages.
Interestingly, scam calls have become a menace in recent years, even as robocalls have been on the decline. In 2019, the bipartisan TRACED Act had been passed to allow the FCC and the Department of Justice more resources to combat scammers and robocalls, while also demanding that phone makers implement tech that would prevent calls from spoofed numbers.
If Rosenworcel has her way, users in the United States can expect to get some relief from scammers texting them and trying to lure them into their elaborate tricks and traps.