Forbidden messaging categories

Wanting to doublecheck if the subject matter of your texts are compliant?

Keep in mind your messaging must comply with our Terms of Service. Additionally, the following messaging categories and examples are not allowed on OpenPhone:

High-risk financial services

  • Payday loans
  • Short term high-interest loans
  • New loan soliciting
  • Student loans
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Stocks and investing platforms
  • Third-party loans (e.g., auto, mortgage. “Third-party” means originating from any party other than the one which will service the loan)

Third-party lead generation services

  • Companies, NGOs or political campaigns that buy, sell, or share consumer information.
  • Affiliate lending
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Deceptive marketing

Debt collection or forgiveness

  • Debt consolidation
  • Debt reduction
  • Debt relief
  • Credit/debt repair
  • Third-party debt collection (“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
  • Mystery Shopping
  • Multi Level Marketing (MLM)

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 (Cannabis is federally illegal in the United States. Cannabis businesses will not be permitted to use SMS/MMS messaging in the US and Canada, regardless of message content.)
  • CBD (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 (Fireworks are a regulated product and US and CA carriers do not permit messaging related to fireworks.)
  • Kratom
  • Vape/E-cigs
  • Paraphernalia products

Cannabis, CBD, Kratom, or drug paraphernalia product businesses are prohibited from utilizing SMS/MMS messaging on OpenPhone in the US and Canada, regardless of content. These restrictions apply regardless of the federal or state legality. All use cases for these are disallowed from sending SMS whether it contains cannabis content or not, even for 2FA purposes it is not permissible for such entities.

Prescription drugs

  • Any sort of drugs that require a prescription (Offers for drugs that cannot be sold over-the-counter in the US/Canada are forbidden.)


  • Casino apps
  • Gambling websites
  • Sweepstakes
  • 50/50 Raffles
  • Contests
  • Betting/Sports picks

Gambling traffic is prohibited in the US and Canada on all number types (toll tree, local number).

"S.H.A.F.T." use cases

Any type of messaging that promotes the following is prohibited:

  • Sex
  • Hate
  • Alcohol*
  • Firearms
  • Tobacco
  • Vape / E-ciggs

*Alcohol traffic is allowed on Toll Free, Short Code, and Long Code in the US, as long as proper age gating procedures are in place