Webinar Recap: Cracking Down on Fraud: Navigating the FCC’s Text Blocking Regulations

Robotexting has become a major problem for phone users everywhere. For years, SMS was enjoyed as a relatively blemish-free channel, with the lion’s share of fraud attempts coming through calls and other methods. But recently, spammers have realized the lucrative potential of branching into text-centric scams: the fact is, texts are much more likely to be answered than robocalls, meaning dishonest money is easier for the taking. As a result, SMS fraud has been on the rise.

Fortunately, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently introduced rules to combat text-based fraud, and early indications is that text-based scamming and spamming has started to wane. Somos held a recent webinar, led by Joel Bernstein, Vice President of Regulatory and Public Policy at Somos and Kevin Rupy, Partner at Wiley Rein LLP, to discuss the ins-and-outs of these new text-blocking regulations, and the ways in which they’re working to bring trust back to text messaging.

Things began with a recap on Do Not Originate (DNO) numbers — what they are, and how they should be treated. Kevin explained that DNO numbers have long been part of the calling-centric discussion, recognized as likely fraudulent and in violation of spoofing rules. The FCC took action on DNO numbers regarding texting in an order adopted in March of 2023, mandating all mobile wireless providers to utilize a DNO list when directing SMS traffic.

Kevin explained that utilizing a DNO list is simply good hygiene, and should be adopted regardless of mandates or regulation. The efficacy of DNO lists has been proven through voice-based utilization in the past, and now, mobile providers will need to utilize them to remain compliant, or risk enforcement action from the FCC starting on September 3, 2024. Ultimately, the industry’s playbook for combating fraud will need to continuously evolve to keep pace with bad actors — and these text-blocking measures mark a positive step toward regaining trust in the SMS arena.

For those who were not able to attend the webinar, you can now catch up by accessing the on-demand recording for viewing anytime!




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