CHICAGO - Attorney General Kwame Raoul expressed support for 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. In addition, Raoul and a bipartisan collation of attorneys general are asking the FCC to continue pushing the wireless industry to help protect consumers.
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“As my office and attorneys general across the country crack down on robocalls, scammers are shifting to sending text messages,” Raoul said. “Robotexts are more than just a nuisance; they cost consumers time and sometimes money. I am committed to protecting the rights of Illinois consumers by fighting against illegal robocalls and robotexts.”
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.
Raoul and 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. In their comments, the attorneys general ask the FCC to continue urging 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 law enforcement can investigate where these texts are coming from.
Attorney General Raoul has been a consistent advocate for protections against illegal robocalls. Illinois is a member of the national Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force, which investigates and takes legal action against the telecommunications companies involved in illegal robocalls.
In 2022, Raoul joined a coalition of 33 attorneys general in filing a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court defending the anti-robocall provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
In August 2019, Raoul joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington D.C. in partnering with 12 phone companies to create a set of principles for telecom companies to fight robocalls. In June 2019, Raoul, in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission, announced a major crackdown on robocalls that included 94 actions targeting operations around the country that were responsible for more than 1 billion calls. Raoul has also submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission urging the adoption of its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing.
Raoul is joined in sending this letter by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.