As businesses leverage Toll-Free texting to enhance customer communications, scammers are using the service to trick consumers into sharing sensitive information. So much so, that phishing scams now account for over 20% of outbound traffic for leading Toll-Free texting API providers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently toughened its stance against this fraudulent use of Toll-Free text messaging to “protect the integrity of toll-free texting.”
In a June 2018 Open Meeting, the Commission noted that while Toll-Free texting has become a valuable business tool, there’s a lack of safeguards around this new ability which could lead to confusion for Toll-Free subscribers and consumers. This, the Commission argues, opens a window of opportunity for scammers seeking to text-enable Toll-Free numbers for fraudulent purposes.
According to the FCC, the new declaratory ruling would:
- Clarify that a text messaging provider may not text-enable a Toll-Free number without first obtaining authorization from the subscriber of that number.
- Clarify that a messaging provider may not text-enable a Toll-Free number that is not yet assigned to a subscriber; they must also disable Toll-Free texting upon request by the subscriber. You can view the FCC’s Fact Sheet in full here.
If you're struggling with deciding which Toll-Free provider to go with, we've created this handy guide: Top Five Questions to Ask When Choosing a Toll-Free Service Provider