Chairman Krishnamoorthi Applauds FCC Proposed Rule to Crack Down on Spam Texts
Washington, D.C. (September 27, 2022)— Today, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, applauded the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) unanimous decision to initiate the public comment process on a proposed rule, the notice for which references information provided by the Subcommittee, aimed at cracking down on robotexts by forcing cellphone companies to block texts from illegal or fraudulent phone numbers.
“Americans across the country are being bombarded with increasingly sophisticated robotext scams every single day,” said Chairman Krishnamoorthi. “After I alerted the FCC to this issue in 2021, the Subcommittee sat down with the Commission to voice our concerns and discuss solutions. I was pleased when the FCC announced its intention in October 2021 to start regulating robotexts but have been disheartened at the slow pace the Commission has taken to actually begin doing so. Today, I applaud the FCC for taking measures to block texts from fraudulent phone numbers. While this proposed rule is long overdue, and while the rulemaking process could still take months to complete, I am encouraged by this step and believe the ultimate rule will help prevent hundreds of thousands of Americans from falling victim to dangerous and tiresome text scams.”
In 2020, the FCC received approximately 14,000 consumer complaints of unwanted text messages, representing an 146% increase from the year before, according to an FCC report. Text scams pose the same dangers as unwanted phone calls and are often the catalysts for consumer fraud and identity theft. In recent years, text scams have become highly sophisticated. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alerted consumers to COVID-19 texting scams that contained illegal vaccine surveys prompting recipients to give up their personal and financial information.
On August 2021, citing concerns from his constituents, Chairman Krishnamoorthi sent a letter to the FCC requesting a briefing on its efforts to combat the rise in spam robotexts. FCC provided the briefing to Subcommittee staff on September 16, 2021 and vowed to “clamp down” on such texts.
On November 21, 2021, Chairman Krishnamoorthi sent a letter following up with the FCC, requesting additional documents and information about the Commission’s efforts to investigate spam robotexts since the briefing. He also requested that the Commission provide the Subcommittee with monthly updates regarding the investigations.