The Department of Internal Affairs’ Anti-Spam Compliance Unit has established a Twitter profile - @AntiSpamInfoNZ – to alert the public and New Zealand businesses to the latest scams and inform them of its work.
The unit was established to enforce the Unsolicited Electronic Message Act 2007, combating commercial electronic spam, which can assist a sender to profit dishonestly by taking advantage of people.
Fraudsters use a range of means to promote their scams including email, text via SMS (short message service), telephone, fax, letters, and online trading or social networking websites. They also employ “phishing” attacks to obtain personal and financial information from unwitting recipients who may think that the sender is legitimate.
Anti-Spam senior investigator, Toni Demetriou, says the Twitter account will contribute to the unit’s public education programme.
“We regularly hear about people being scammed so we look to prevention through education and awareness. If we can publicise these scams and alert the public and industry to them, then we may be able to prevent people responding to them.
“We will use Twitter to alert the public to the latest scams press releases and other information to help them be wary of scammers and their constantly evolving tactics. We will also tweet about what the team is doing to enforce the Act. Our enforcement action includes formal warnings, infringement notices and prosecutions.”
The unit has been enforcing the Act since September 2007 and has resolved thousands of complaints using the online Spam Complaints Form.