CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Monday supported the Federal Communications Commission’s 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.
“These texts and calls are not only annoying, they are used by bad actors to dupe people into different kinds of scams,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The FCC’s proposal, I believe, will quell these intrusions and stop scammers from taking advantage of consumers.”
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 robo-texts 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.
The bipartisan 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.
Further, the attorneys general are asking the FCC to continue pushing 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 Morrisey joined his counterparts from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming in sending the letter to the FCC.