A group of consumer and privacy organizations, including the National Consumer Law Center and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deny petitions aimed at allowing unsolicited bulk text messaging. The organization, which is made up of numerous telephone users from all around the country, feels that enabling such unwanted messages would be detrimental to customers.
In response to a proposed rulemaking in November 2022, some individuals have urged the FCC to allow businesses to send unwanted mass text messages to consumers without their consent. This would result in a rise in unwelcome texts, such as bothersome surveys, recurrent political messaging, and pestering debt collection requests. The FCC not taking action would be detrimental to customers, as they would lose their capacity to filter out undesirable messages.
The groups representing telephone subscribers are also requesting the FCC to release interpretations of the laws governing telephone solicitations to prevent telemarketers from employing misleading techniques to gain consumer consent. This consent is then used to legitimize the monthly distribution of hundreds of millions of unsolicited telemarketing calls and messages. Lead generators’ broad adoption of these strategies has resulted in a high number of unsolicited contacts with customers.
Unwanted text messages may cost customers money in addition to being bothersome. Scam text messages, commonly referred to as “smishing” attacks, have increased in recent years and are thought to cause direct losses to customers, running into billions of dollars annually. The situation is only getting worse as scammers’ techniques become more sophisticated.
Consumers reported larger losses from SMS scams in the first three quarters of 2022 than in all of 2020 and 2021 combined, according to the Federal Trade Commission. RoboKiller forecasts a 179% increase in text message dollar losses between 2021 and 2022, amounting to $28 billion this year alone.