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AG Nessel Asks FCC to Put in Place Anti-Robotext Protections

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is supporting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal to help cut down on unwanted text messages by requiring mobile wireless providers to block texts from invalid, unassigned, or unused numbers, and from numbers on a Do Not Originate (DNO) list.  

"Robotexts are increasingly used by bad actors in the face of effective law enforcement efforts targeting illegal robocalls," Nessel said. "Text messaging is the preferred mode of communication for many consumers, and deceptive robotexts exploit consumers' trust in the information they receive via text. I have made it a priority to protect Michigan residents from robocalls and I am taking a stand against robotexts, which put consumers in danger of becoming victims. The best way to combat these texts is to block them at the network level. I stand with my colleagues in supporting the FCC's efforts to bring illegal text message enforcement in line with illegal robocalls."

Attorneys general work to protect consumers in their states and have long been at the forefront of fighting to reduce the number of robocalls that plague Americans. But scammers are shifting to using robotexts to run the same scams. Just like spam calls, spam texts are an irritation and can result in people losing millions through phishing texts, imposter scams, and links containing ransomware. In 2021, the FCC received more than 15,000 consumer complaints about unwanted texts and, in 2020, scammers stole more than $86 million through frauds perpetrated via scam text messages. 

The coalition of 51 attorneys general support the FCC’s proposal to require mobile wireless providers to block unlawful text messages at the network level if they originate from fraudulent numbers. Further, the attorneys general are asking the FCC to continue pushing the wireless industry to develop call authentication technology for text messages so people can know if the texts they receive are from spoofed numbers and so law enforcement can investigate where these texts are coming from. 

AG Nessel is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming.

A copy of the letter is available here.


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