Springfield, MO

Log in Subscribe

Opinion: New FCC rules seem unlikely to stop scam texts

From the Web

Posted online

I get at least one scam text message every day, and to my chagrin, it’s usually more often than that.

My Amazon or Netflix accounts are on hold, the texts might say, and I need to click a link (that’s totally not suspicious looking) to remedy the situation.

It’s beyond frustrating. I barely want to look at my phone these days because I know some kind of scam is waiting for me.

The Federal Communications Commission appears to have had enough as well, as the agency recently introduced rules designed to crack down on scam text messages. Such spam messages have increased by 500% since 2015, FCC officials say. I believe it.

Under the FCC’s new rules released this month, mobile carriers are required to block robotext messages that are likely to be illegal. According to the FCC, the rules are the agency’s “first regulations specifically targeting the increasing problem of scam text messages sent to consumers.”

Text messages from “invalid, unallocated or unused numbers” must be blocked by carriers, as well as texts from “numbers that the subscriber to the number has self-identified as never sending text messages, and numbers that government agencies and other well-known entities identify as not used for texting.”

I applaud any movement by the FCC to crack down on spam texts, but given the government’s inability to stop spam calls, I don’t have a lot of faith.

I’ll file these rules under the “I’ll believe it if I see it” category. To my skeptical self, it feels a lot like lip service with no teeth.

In the meantime, I’m signing my phone up for every do-not-call and do-not-text list I can find.

Cybercrimes on the rise
In other tech news, cybercrimes continue to rise. Shocker!

The FBI’s recently released internet crime report found that, through its Internet Crime Complaint Center, total losses to cybercrimes rose to $10.3 billion in 2022, up from $6.9 billion in 2021. The number of complaints dipped to 800,944 from 847,376, but the successful scammers reaped more rewards for their efforts.

Losses have risen each year since 2018, and for the five-year period, total losses were $27.6 billion. Total complaints came to nearly 3.3 million during that same time span, according to the FBI report.

Age played a major factor. According to the report, victims under the age of 20 lost $210.5 million to cyberscams last year, and that figure steadily increases until it gets to the scammer’s apparent favorite target, the over 60 population, which lost $3.1 billion in 2022. It’s important to note that no single age group was unaffected. Scammers are targeting all age ranges, though the numbers do tend to skew toward older adults.

Education continues to be the greatest tool in combatting scammers. I’d encourage everyone, regardless of age, to keep up to date with scams. Maybe they’ll stop if no one falls for them anymore.

Springfield Business Journal Digital Editor Geoff Pickle can be reached at


No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick
Most Read
Update cookies preferences