Forbidden message categories for SMS/MMS in the US/Canada
|High-risk financial services||Payday loans Short term high-interest loans Third-party loans (e.g., auto, mortgage) Student loans Cryptocurrency||“Third-party” means originating from any party other than the one which will service the loan.|
|Third-party lead generation services||Companies that buy, sell, or share consumer information.|
|Debt collection or forgiveness||Third-party debt collection Debt consolidation Debt reduction Credit repair programs||“Third-party” means originating from any party other than the one who is owed the debt. For example, a hospital could send messages regarding bills for its own patients, assuming they provided opt-in to receive that messaging.|
Third-party debt collectors may send transactional messages that consumers have directly opted in to; however, they cannot use SMS as a channel to collect a debt.
|“Get rich quick” schemes||Deceptive work-from-home programs Risk investment opportunities Pyramid schemes||This is different from outreach about employment as a result of compliant opt-in practices, messages from brokerages to their members, investment news alerts, or other investment-related messages.|
|Illegal substances/articles||Cannabis (United States) CBD (United States) Fireworks||Cannabis is federally illegal in the United States. Cannabis businesses will not be permitted to use SMS/MMS messaging in the US, regardless of message content.|
CBD is federally legal, but is subject to varying legal restrictions across US states, so US carriers do not permit messaging related to CBD.
Fireworks are a regulated product and US and CA carriers do not permit messaging related to fireworks.
|Prescription drugs||Drugs that require a prescription||Offers for drugs that cannot be sold over-the-counter in the US/Canada are forbidden.|
|Gambling||Casino apps, Gambling websites||Gambling traffic is prohibited in the US and Canada on all number types (Toll Free, Short Code, Long Code).|
|“S.H.A.F.T.” use cases||Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco||While tobacco and alcohol traffic is prohibited on Toll Free, it is allowed on Short Code, or Long Code, as long as proper age gating procedures are in place.|
Firearms and vaping-related traffic is prohibited.