CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined 18 other states in a federal Communications Commission (FCC) request to maintain restrictions on commercial text messages.

The collaborating attorneys general wrote a bipartisan letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, asking that the commission preserve current regulations that protect consumers from spam and phishing texts.

“Existing safeguards and filters allow wireless carriers to block spam messages,” Morrisey said. “Reducing those restrictions would allow legitimate companies and bogus entities to mass message people without limits on quantity or content, creating an annoying free-for-all and increasing consumers’ susceptibility to scams and fraud.”

The safeguards allow wireless carries to limit unwanted commercial text messages, although they do not block text messages from one individual to another.

Users today are leaning more and more on text messaging as their general form of communication, which forces business to increasingly depend on similar services to connect with them, Morrissey said. The high level of consumer trust and popularity, however, makes text messages an attractive medium for those wishing to engage in illegal and malicious acts, he added.

Along with West Virginia, the other states involved in the letter are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

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