Since 81% of Americans text regularly, it’s no surprise that scammers are increasingly targeting victims via text message. These attacks are known as “smishing” a combination of SMS and phishing.
To fight back against scammers, the FCC has put in place its first rules focusing on text scams. The new rules target robo-texts likely to be from scammers and require mobile service providers to block them.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, “Text message scams are an increasingly pervasive consumer threat, with a more than 500% increase in complaints in recent years. From 2015 to 2022, robotext complaints rose from around 3,300 to 18,900 per year. And robotexts pose a unique threat to consumers: unlike robocalls, scam text messages are hard to ignore or hang-up on and are nearly always read by the recipient – often immediately.”
These texts often include like to malicious websites that install malware on your phone. The FCC says it’s also extending the Do Not Call Registry to cover text messages as well as voice calls. They are also closing a loophole that allowed companies to use a single permission to contact them to apply to thousands of other marketing companies.
The agency recommends that consumers who have been targeted with unwanted texts file a complaint with the FCC and forward unwanted texts to SPAM (7726),