Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has signed on to a letter — joining 50 other attorneys general — in support of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal to help cut down on unwanted text messages. The proposal would require mobile wireless providers to block texts from invalid, unassigned, or unused numbers, and from numbers on a Do Not Originate (DNO) list.

While Attorney General Tong recently led the call for the FCC to expand protections against robocalls, scammers have shifted to using robotexts to continue to defraud people. In 2021, the FCC received more than 15,000 consumer complaints about unwanted texts, according to the attorney general’s office, and, in 2020, scammers stole more than $86 million through frauds perpetrated via scam text messages.

“Robotexts are emerging as yet another insidious avenue for scammers to steal millions of dollars from Americans,” Attorney General Tong said. “We have the technology to identify and block robocallers and we need those same protections applied to text messages. I fully support the FCC’s efforts.”

The FCC’s proposal will require mobile wireless providers to block unlawful text messages at the network level if they originate from fraudulent numbers. In addition to supporting the measure, the attorneys general are also asking the FCC to continue to pressure the wireless industry to develop call authentication technology for text messages. 

The technology would alert people if the texts they receive are from spoofed numbers and allow law enforcement to more easily identify where the texts are coming from.

The full letter to the FCC can be viewed here.

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Tom Hopkins wrote for CII from April 2022 to February 2023. Prior to joining CII, he worked in print, television, and as a freelance journalist.

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