Under the Spam Act 2003 it is illegal to send, or cause to be sent, unsolicited commercial electronic messages. The Act covers email, instant messaging, SMS and MMS (text and image-based mobile phone messaging) of a commercial nature. It does not cover faxes, internet pop-ups or voice telemarketing.
Spam is a generic term used to describe electronic 'junk mail' – unwanted messages sent to a person's email account or mobile phone.
The ACMA is responsible for enforcing the Spam Act and actively works to fight spam in Australia. This section of the ACMA’s website provides practical information and handy tips on how you can reduce and help to fight spam. It also provides advice to e-marketers to assist them in developing compliant, and effective, e-marketing campaigns.
The ACMA plays an important role in e-Security in Australia, gathering evidence and assisting in protecting Australians from computer fraud and identity theft. The ACMA also regulates internet content issues, deals with internet content complaints and provides information about mobile premium services.
Have you received an SMS saying your mobile phone number has won you a prize in a lottery you didn’t enter? It's a scam.
The ACMA has received a number of reports of consumers receiving ‘lottery scam’ SMS. Some examples of these messages are provided below:
Your mobile number won $1,000,000.00.USD in the [NAME] worldwide mobile promo. Reply via sms for more info or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Congratulations!!"
"CONGRATS!! YOUR MOBILE NUMBER HAS WON YOU 2,000,000,00 USD IN THE FREELOTTO MOBILE PROMO.FOR CLAIMS,SEND EMAIL TO: email@example.com & CALL: +44XXXXXXXXXX"
If you have received any message of this nature, or a variation of it, you should ignore it and report it to the ACMA by forwarding the message to 0429 999 888.
You should then delete the message from your phone. DO NOT REPLY TO THESE MESSAGES.
It might seem nice to think you have hit the jackpot, but it is important to remember that these messages are scams and under no circumstances should you respond to the message or provide any information, such as your name, address or your banking details. By replying to these messages, you are just confirming your mobile number to the spammer.
If you are unsure about whether you might have won something, a good indicator is to remember that it is very difficult to win a competition you didn’t enter.
Unsolicited commercial messages can be reported to the ACMA by forwarding emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and SMS to 0429 999 888.
And here are some tips to protect yourselves against these types of scams.
For more information about current scams, visit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s scamwatch website at www.scamwatch.gov.au
What is the e-marketing blog?
The blog deals with different issues facing e-marketers, providing information about their obligations, as well as advice for making the most of their e-marketing campaigns.
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Successful e-marketing...it's about reputation
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has launched a new campaign aimed at assisting businesses that use e-marketing to more successfully promote their businesses, while complying with the Spam Act. The campaign, Successful e-marketing...it’s about reputation, offers useful information and advice to e-marketers, showing that e-marketing should not be a numbers game and that compliance with the Spam Act can go a long way to enhance an organisation’s reputation.
Where can I find more information?
The following links include information for consumers and businesses about spam in Australia: