The government is waging a real war against spammers. It has become impatient with spammers from countries like New Zealand, who are using their unlimited resources to fill emails and cellular telephone inboxes with spam.
Any business using anti-spam laws will be given a formal warning from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). It is illegal to send emails or text messages within New Zealand if there is no consent from the consumer receiving the email. Within the past year, there have been almost 2000 complains with the DIA regarding unsolicited emails that have been received by the consumers who use the internet. Emails sent by family and friends are not covered by this anti-spamming legislation. The DIA has received 143 complaints about spam and 1841 complaints about emails.
For example, one consumer received and deleted unwanted horoscope alerts from his cellular telephone, and assumed he was in the clear in regards to the unwanted texts. When this customer received his bill, he was shocked to find out that he was being charged $30 for each text received. When he called the company sending the texts and the company providing his service, he was told that the original message required him to unsubscribe by calling back a different number. Because he did not unsubscribe, he may be responsible for the billings.
Keith Manch, DIA deputy secretary, says that 12 formal written warnings were issued to companies which kept sending out unwanted marketing materials. The legislation supports the fact that businesses today must send out opt-out options to the consumers who are on their distribution lists.
The penalties for failure to comply with the applicable legislation in this area range from $200,000 to $500,000. Manch stated that emails are not the only system susceptible to spam, the cell phones of the users are also being flooded with spam text messages.
One way to fight back is to only give your email address to people and companies that you trust. When using new companies, it is probably a good idea to develop a new address and use that one for the companies you don’t now as well, and who may later send spam.
Spammers use software to find out linked email addresses, so it is important not to respond to unsolicited emails. It is also important to check the terms and conditions, privacy and consent policies of companies before disclosing personal information. It is also important not to ever give out your cell phone number to companies you do not know. These same companies can use your cell phone to send unsolicited messages that you may be responsible for paying for later on. This includes chat services, including ring-tones, jokes, wallpaper, horoscopes and dating sites. It is imperative to make sure that you know how to unsubscribe to messages that you want now, but determine that you do not want later. In this way, it will be possible for consumers to actually fight back against spammers.