ACMA launches spam SMS reporting tool

By Liz Tay on Jun 10, 2010 1:28 PM
Filed under Communications

Invites junk SMS at new number.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is inviting Australians to forward their SMS spam to 0429 999 888.

Launched today, the new 'Spam SMS' service is expected to provide a simple, convenient way to alert ACMA to potential breaches of the Spam Act.

The service targets youth who may be "reluctant or indifferent" to reporting spam, ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman explained.

"As active mobile phone users, young people are increasingly exposed to targeted SMS marketing messages," Chapman said.

"We can actually do a lot to help in this space, but we have to know about it."

ACMA has received an increasing number of spam complaints during the past two years, including 2,100 complaints of SMS spam since July 2008.

The communications regulator reports a 71 percent increase in SMS spam complaints in 2008/09, and a 12 percent increase in the first 11 months of 2009/10, when compared to the previous years.

A third of ACMA's SMS spam complaints are related to scam activity, including messages about fake lottery wins, or pleas to assist in the transfer of millions of dollars.

Other SMS spam is commonly marketing-related. ACMA reports: "Businesses big and small use SMS marketing as an efficient and cheap direct marketing method."

"Compliance with the Spam Act is simple for SMS marketers - all they need to do is make sure they have consent to send the message, identify who authorised the message and how they can be contacted and include an unsubscribe facility."

"The ACMA recognises that not everyone has the time to fill in a web-form or report spam by telephone," the regulator stated.

"The simple solution for SMS spam was to develop a way for Australians to tell us about Spam SMS by SMS, and Spam SMS was born."

 
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