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STOPPING SPAM TEXTS: How a new rule could bring fewer unwanted texts

A newly adopted rule from the Federal Communications Commission closes a so-called loophole that allows unwanted texts.
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Posted at 11:38 AM, Dec 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-19 11:38:14-05

Good news for people who are sick and tired of receiving unwanted text messages from companies, the Federal Communications Commission will now require individual businesses to obtain written consent before sending robotexts and making robocalls.

The new rule, approved by the FCC, essentially closes the co-called “lead generator loophole.”

Under previous rules, when consumers agreed to receive calls or texts from a business, it was possible for the consent to be used by several other companies, resulting in consumers getting robotexts they never directly agreed to.

“It makes it very clear there needs to be one-to-one prior expressed consent to use regulated technologies,” said Zachary Zermay, a consumer attorney in Fort Myers who specializes in spam texts and phone calls.

The new rule also allows the FCC to “red flag” certain numbers, known for sending spam, which would require mobile companies to block texts from those numbers.

Text messages will also fall under protections from the Do-Not-Call list, under the new FCC rule.

“Make sure you’re on the national Do-Not-Call list,” Zermay said. “That’s a big thing you can do to protect yourself.”