Mobile companies accused of spam text messages fraud

Three mobile phone companies are facing legal action by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for allegedly sending unsolicited SMS messages to Australian mobile phone numbers.

Three mobile phone companies are facing legal action by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for allegedly sending unsolicited SMS messages to Australian mobile phone numbers.

The watchdog has begun action in the Federal Court against Mobilegate, Winning Bid and Jobsy, accusing the three of attempting to use fabricated dating website profiles to entice victims to reply to SMS messages at a cost of $5 per reply.

The ACMA also alleges the companies allegedly sent messages advertising fantasy chat services, including Singles Club and AU Singles, which were also designed to convince users to reply to messages, also at a cost of $5 each.

“ACMA is seeking declarations, injunctions, penalties and other orders. ACMA is also seeking interim injunctions restraining the respondents from engaging in the alleged conduct,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The Spam Act 2003 regulates the use of commercial electronic messaging including emails, text messages and picture messages. Commercial messages must be sent with the recipient’s consent, contain clear and accurate information about the sender, and must contain an ability to unsubscribe from messages sent.

The case is the first of its kind, as the ACMA has never before taken a company to court for breaching the spam act by using text messages.

If found guilty, the companies could face fines of up to $1.1 million a day, and $220,000 for individuals.

In 2006, the Federal Court ordered Clarity1 Pty Ltd and its director Wayne Mansfield to pay $4.5 million and $1 million respectively for sending unsolicited emails and using harvested address lists, following legal action launched by the AMCA.

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