The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently released a report on its investigation into Modica Group Limited, a mobile messaging provider. The report found that Modica had breached the Reducing Scam Calls and SCAM SMs Industry Code (Code) by sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages to Australian mobile phone numbers. For a full reading of the report, click here.
The Code requires telecommunication companies to identify, trace and block suspected scam SMS, and to verify and monitor the use of text-based sender IDs. The investigation was initiated following complaints from members of the public who had received unsolicited text messages from Modica promoting various products and services. The messages did not provide an option for recipients to unsubscribe from future messages, as required by law. Modica also did not check whether the names of the sender IDs were being used to perpetrate scams. Sender IDs atomically display the sender’s name and may be used by scammers to appear as legitimate organisations or government institutions.
There was no evidence that scammers had used Modica’s sender ID feature, however, Modica was in breach of the Code for failing to appropriately monitor customers’ use of the feature. Furthermore, Modica failed to report to the ACMA the number of blocked spam SMS between July and September 2022.
As a result of the investigation, the ACMA issued orders against Modica, requiring it to comply with the Code. This indicates further enforcement action to come if any future breaches occur by Modica. Non-compliance with ACMA directions may result in fines of up to $250,000. required them to undertake remedial action to address the breaches of the Spam Act.
We regularly advise clients on their obligations under the Spam Act and on their obligations under relevant industry codes. If you need assistance with your company’s legal obligations please feel welcome to contact me for a free, no-obligation initial discussion about your legal requirements.