California Attorney General Rob Bonta, along with attorneys general from all 49 other states and the District of Columbia, expressed support Monday for a federal proposal to crack down on illegal text messages, also known as “robotex” or “robot texts.” did.
51 The attorney general sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in support of the agency’s proposal to require mobile phone providers to block illegal text messages from invalid, unassigned, or unused phone numbers.
The FCC also proposed blocking messages from phone numbers that are on the “do not initiate” list, which includes phone numbers that have been confirmed to be used for illegal or fraudulent activity.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, American consumers are set to lose an estimated $131 million in 2021 through fraudulent and illegal text messages that contain, among other things, phishing links and downloads of unwanted software.
“Unsolicited and illegal bottexts present the same problems as their robocall counterparts: They invade consumer privacy and are vehicles for scams and identity theft,” Bonta said in a statement.
The attorney general also asked the FCC to develop and require authentication technology for text messages, similar to phone calls, to allow people to easily determine whether a text message is coming from a known fraudulent number. .
“With scammers turning their attention to text message schemes, consumer losses will only increase unless industry and law enforcement work together to protect consumers,” the attorney general said in his letter.
How does the “do not start” list work?
It is a database of telephone numbers that are used only for incoming calls and are verified by entities such as the IRS and other government agencies. Phone service providers check databases for all calls made using those numbers, making it possible to block fake calls.