The Australian Communications and Media Authority launched what it dubbed “Spam SMS” — a spam reporting service where users can forward SMS spam to a certain phone number to report it to the regulator.
“Spam SMS is a simple and convenient way to tell us about spam,” ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said. “All you need to do is forward the message to 0429 999 888 as soon as you receive it.”
Spam SMS was available for public use as of 11AM am this morning. Would-be spam reporters do not need to register their details to use the service, however, ACMA does recommend that you do register in case they require more information to assist with investigations.
The campaign was aimed at the younger generation of mobile users, with the launch held this morning at the Footscray Community Arts Centre — including the participation of various music and hip hop artists, who performed live.
“As active mobile phone users, young people are increasingly exposed to targeted SMS marketing messages but may be reluctant or indifferent to reporting spam,” said Chapman.
The regulator said that the information recevied by people fowarding on spam SMS’s helped it investigate offenders of the Spam Act (2003). A few past offenders include Funmobile, Vodafone Hutchison Australia, New Dialogue Australia and Big Moible with a formal warning issued to Coca-Cola.
ACMA has reported a sharp increase in the popularity of SMS spam over the past 2 years. As an example, financial year 2008/2009 saw a 71 percent increase in SMS spam when compared to the previous year and the 2009/2010 year has had an increase of 12 percent compared to the previous year.
SMS spam is categorised as messages sent to a mobile without a receiver’s consent, unidentified sender details, no contact details and no unsubscribe option.