Skip to content

The Critical Role of Audio Analytics in Robocall Threat Mitigation Programs. Get the Free White PaperSchedule a Demo

FCC’s Anti-Robotext Campaign: What Service Providers Need to Know about Blocking Unwanted Text Messages

The FCC has begun a campaign to make Americans safer from unwanted robotexts by requiring Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to block certain robotext messages. How does this affect Communication Service Providers at all levels? 

In this blog, we will discuss everything that a service providers needs to know about the FCC Order:


A Summary Of The FCC Ruling  

The FCC estimated that consumers incur a 5 cent nuisance harm for each spam text received with an annual harm of $2 billion.

 “Since we released the NPRM, the number of spam texts has increased to an estimated 147 billion annually. Assuming a 5 cent nuisance cost per spam text and a conservative $2 billion fraud cost for all spam texts, the total harm of spam texts would be $9.35 billion annually” – FCC Order 23-21

So the FCC has issued a ruling, known as FCC 23-21, which amends the rules relating to telephone solicitations or telemarketing calls or texts to wireless telephone numbers. The ruling requires express written consent for a call or text message to be delivered using an automated system or an artificial or prerecorded voice.

 The ruling also mandates that CSPs block texts purporting to be from North American Numbering Plan (NANP) numbers on a reasonable Do-Not-Originate (DNO) list, which includes numbers that are invalid, unallocated, or unused, and NANP numbers for which the subscriber has requested that texts purporting to originate from that number be blocked.

Additional information that a CSP should know about the FCC Order includes a requirement for CSPs to establish a point of contact for senders to resolve issues of erroneously blocked texts.

The ruling amends § 64.1200 with paragraph (r): “A mobile wireless provider must provide a point of contact or ensure its aggregator partners or blocking contractors that block text messages on its network provide a point of contact to resolve complaints about erroneous blocking from message senders that can document that their messages have been blocked. Such point of contact may be the same point of contact for voice call blocking error complaints.”

The FCC acknowledged “that mobile wireless providers will need sufficient time in which to comply with these new requirements.” The requirement requires CSPs to ensure compliance within six months after publication of notice of OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act to allow “parties sufficient time to update their processes and come into compliance.”

The FCC notes that the benefits of the rules adopted in this Report and Order significantly outweigh their costs.

The full FCC Order can be accessed here.

What A CSP Should Be Commenting To Their Users Now

The FCC is giving consumers advice on how to protect themselves from text scams. As a Communication Service Provider, you have the opportunity to do the same, demonstrating your active efforts to minimize robotext messages on behalf of your clients – improving service, and communicating your efforts on their behalf. 

Communications to customers should include the following key points:

  • Be vigilant for messages from unknown numbers, long/messy links, typos, 10-digit or longer numbers, sales pitches, or incomplete information. These are common indicators of spam or fraudulent messages.
  • Be particularly aware of brand imposter scams. These scams pose as a brand the user already knows and trusts. Common imposters include Netflix, Amazon, UPS, IRS, Social Security, banks, and more.
  • Do not interact with suspicious messages. Interaction can confirm to the scammer that your number is active, leading to more spam messages.
  • Do not click on most text links. Links can lead to malicious websites designed to steal personal information or install malware on your device.
  • Do not provide any information through texts, nor on a website you did not type in yourself. Scammers often use these methods to steal personal information.
  • File complaints with the FCC. This helps the FCC track and take action against these scams.
  • Forward unwanted text messages to SPAM (7726). This helps your CSP and the industry as a whole track and block spam messages.
  • Delete all suspicious messages. This ensures that you or someone else using your device won't accidentally interact with a scam message later. 

By communicating these points to your customers, you can help them protect themselves from text scams and demonstrate your commitment to their safety and security.

The 7 Actions A CSP Should Take Immediately To Comply With The FCC Anti-Robotext Order

To comply with the FCC Anti-Robotext Order, CSPs should take the following immediate actions:

  1. Understand the FCC Ruling: Familiarize yourself with the details of the FCC order, including the requirements for blocking certain texts and obtaining express written consent for calls or texts delivered using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice.
  2. Communicate with Users: Inform your users about how to identify and handle suspicious messages. See our tips above.
  3. Establish a Point of Contact: Set up a point of contact for senders to resolve issues of erroneously blocked texts. This will help ensure that legitimate messages are not inadvertently blocked.
  4. Update Processes: Update your processes to block texts per the FCC guidelines. This includes blocking texts on a reasonable Do-Not-Originate (DNO) list.
  5. Ensure Compliance: Consult with your legal team – in coordination with IT and Security – to make sure that you are in compliance with the FCC Order within six months after publication of notice of OMB approval.
  6. Educate Your Team: Ensure that all members of your team are aware of the new FCC regulations and understand the steps your company is taking to comply.
  7. Partner with an Industry-Leading Company: Consider partnering with an industry-leading spam-reduction company like YouMailPS. This can help ensure comprehensive and effective compliance with the FCC Order, particularly in light of the core focus of YouMailPS on robocall mitigation services for CSPs, as well as the YouMail sensor network, with billions of data points on spam calls and text messages.

By taking these actions, CSPs can not only comply with the new FCC regulations but also contribute to a safer communication environment for their users.

Stay ahead of the curve by partnering with a team that specializes in security for CSPs, like YouMailPS. Our no-obligation demo will help you see why we’re the most trusted partner in the industry.



Download Whitepaper

Blog comments