Spam texts could finally be gone for good under new FCC rules

(Image credit: Shutterstock / ImYanis)

Spam text messages could soon be a thing of the past as acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Jessica Rosenworcel has laid out her plans to eliminate them for good.

Rosenworcel recently shared a proposal for a set of new rules that would require mobile carriers to block illegal text messages.

The move builds on the FCC's efforts stop both SIM swapping attacks and robocalls as the government agency has been exploring ways to further protect smartphone users in the US from falling victim to mobile fraud and identity theft.

Blocking spam text messages

Spam text messages continue to be a problem for smartphone users and last year, the FCC received approximately 14,000 consumer complaints regarding unwanted text messages representing an almost 146 percent increase when compared to the previous year.

So far in 2021, the FCC has received over 9,800 consumer complaints about unwanted texts and according to the spam call and text blocker RoboKiller, 7.4bn spam texts were sent in March of this year alone.

Rosenworcel provided further insight on the dangers spam texts pose to consumers in a press release, saying:

“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. We’ve seen a rise in scammers trying to take advantage of our trust of text messages by sending bogus robotexts that try to trick consumers to share sensitive information or click on malicious links. 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.”

If adopted by a vote from the FCC, Rosenworcel's new rules would explore steps to further protect consumers from spam text messages using a number of tactics including network level blocking and applying caller authentication standards to text messaging.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.