The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously last week to adopt new rules to keep scam texts off your phone. Phone providers must block text messages from phone numbers that appear invalid, unallocated or unused. The FCC says carriers will be required to block messages from phone numbers that claim never to send text messages and numbers that the government has identified as not used for texting.
“This isn’t going to be like an instant fix,” said Lily Hay Newman, a senior writer at Wired. “It really takes time to make progress.”
This move mirrors the government effort to shut down illegal robocalls, which has included cutting off one provider from the US network entirely. Spam and text messages have taken their place. Authorities say scam robotexts could be more dangerous because these messages can contain malicious links to software than can infect your phone.
“Scam artists have found that sending us messages about a package you never ordered or a payment that never went through along with a link to a shady website is a quick and easy way to get us to engage on our devices and fall prey to fraud,” said FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.