New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
December 14, 2022

Contact:
Michael S. Garrity, Director of Communications
michael.s.garrity@doj.nh.gov | (603) 931-9375

Mary F. Stewart, Esq.
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
Mary.F.Stewart@doj.nh.gov | (603) 271-1139

Attorney General Formella Asks FCC to Put in Place Anti-Robotext Protections

Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella announces that he has officially signed on in support of 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 response to increasing enforcement and regulation of voice service providers to stop illegal robocalls, bad actors appear to be shifting tactics to scam text messages," said Attorney General Formella. "This is particularly problematic because scam text messages sometimes include links to phishing websites that appear identical to the website of a legitimate company, thus tricking the consumer to unwittingly provide personal and financial information. I support the FCC's implementation of sensible regulation – similar to regulation currently in place regarding illegal robocalls – that is aimed at stopping illegal text messages sent from invalid, unallocated or unused numbers and numbers on a Do Not Originate list."

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.

A 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.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658