TXT spam complaints easier to lodge

  • Chris Tremain
Internal Affairs

Minister of Internal Affairs Chris Tremain says a new mobi site launched today by the Department of Internal Affairs will make it easier to complain about text (TXT) spam.

A mobi site is a web site easily accessible for mobile/smart phones and other hand-held devices. The code has been available for some years but, before the mobi site, a user had to go through the Department’s website to complete details.

Mr Tremain says, “people can now forward offending messages free of charge to the Department of Internal Affairs’ SPAM (7726) short code, and provide additional information regarding their complaint submission via the new mobi site. Even if no further details are provided the complaint will still be registered.

“The initiative is very much in line with the Government’s objective to make it easy for people to complete government transactions easily in a digital environment.

“The growth of mobile technology and the increased use of smart phones provide more opportunity for spammers to exploit users through text spam. That also creates an environment in which people start to lose trust and confidence in information and communication technologies.

“Many people use hand held devices to facilitate online business and communications. This new mobi site means they can now effectively lodge a spam complaint with the Department.”

When a text spam complaint is submitted to 7726, the complainant receives a response text message containing a hyperlink to the mobi site (https://7726.govt.nz). The hyperlink will also include a Reference ID number unique to the complaint. This enables Anti-Spam investigators to match the complaint details to the TXT spam.

The Department of Internal Affairs enforces the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 and can investigate and take enforcement action against individuals and companies who breach the Act. In February 2011 the Department filed a statement of claim in the registry of the High Court in Auckland after an investigation into thousands of unsolicited text messages sent to handheld devices in new Zealand.