Payday lenders in the spotlight as spam complaints explode

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“Individuals have the right to have power over how they are contacted and how their consent is used.

“There is no doubt that these marketing channels are potential gateways to more serious harm, especially where consumers may find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.”

Katherine Temple, director of policy and campaigns at the Consumer Action Law Center, said some payday lenders were life delinquents.

“You really need to reform the law to make sure people have informed consent before they can send these kinds of communications,” she said.

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“For some really dangerous industries, like high cost payday loans, we believe there shouldn’t be unsolicited marketing like this. These products are so dangerous and people in financial difficulty should not be targeted. through this type of marketing. “

Under the Spam Act 2003, consumers must choose to receive marketing information. The sender must identify himself, indicate his contact details and facilitate the deregistration of the recipient.

During the past year, ACMA received 6,858 spam complaints by email or text message.

And despite more sophisticated filters attached to servers and Internet service providers, spam complaints have exploded over the past five years.

There were 1,698 complaints in fiscal year 2015-16, 2,389 in 2016-17 and 3,309 in 2017-18. It then nearly doubled to 6,333 in FY 2018-19, before rising a further 525 last year.

Earlier this month, Woolworths was fined a record $ 1 million for 5 million spam law violations. The grocery giant has ignored repeated requests from consumers to unsubscribe from its marketing mailing lists.

In January Optus was fined $ 504,000 for sending commercial emails without an unsubscribe button, and in November Sydney-based online marketplace Oneflare was fined 75,600 $ for sending commercial text messages to phone numbers found in public directories.

For more information on how to reduce unwanted communications or file a complaint, visit the ACMA website.

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