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Attorney General Josh Stein Helps Secure More Protections Against Illegal Robocalls and Robotexts

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, December 21, 2023

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed
919-716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein and a coalition of 28 attorneys general urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to strengthen a rule governing robocalls and telemarketing. At its December meeting, the FCC took that advice and amended its rule to require individual businesses to obtain direct written consent from a consumer before sending that consumer any robotexts or robocalls.

“Robocallers need to be stopped, not only because they are inconvenient and annoying, but also because they put North Carolinians at risk of being scammed,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I hear more about robocalls than any other issue. I am pleased that the FCC is fighting alongside us to stop robocalls and prevent scams.”

Under the prior rule, lead generating businesses misled consumers who believed they were consenting to a single company’s telecommunications, only to receive sometimes hundreds of unwanted calls and text messages from industry competitors.  The FCC’s new rule requires “one-to-one consent,” which prevents lead generators from obtaining consent on behalf of multiple businesses or sellers.

The new FCC order will:

  1. Require mobile wireless providers to block all texts from a particular number when notified by the FCC of illegal texts from that number.
  2. Extend the National Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry’s protections to text messages.
  3. Eliminate the much-used practice of gaining consent by hidden lists of “marketing partners” that are not clearly and conspicuously listed, and have no topical relationship to the website purportedly getting this global consent.

In June, Attorney General Stein urged the FCC to clarify the federal rules requiring telemarketers to obtain consent between an individual consumer and one specific seller or business entity before making telemarketing robocalls and texts. Attorney General Stein and a coalition of 28 state attorneys general joined together to advocate for these rules to better prevent illegal robocalls and robotexts.

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