Services › Anti-Spam
Internal Affairs continues its fight against mobile phone text spam through its public private partnership and international reporting service making it easier to track spammers and fraudsters breaching New Zealand’s anti-spam law.
High Court judgementAn Auckland based marketing company has been ordered to pay $120 000 for sending spam via email and text messages – the largest penalty imposed for sending spam in New Zealand. Image Marketing Group Ltd was ordered to pay a pecuniary penalty to the Crown in respect of the civil liability events referred to in the judgement below.
File-encrypting ransomwareThe United States' FBI has this warning about the file-encrypting ransomware known as Cryptolocker.
Compliance M@tters newsletterSubscribe to our Compliance M@tters e-newsletter. Compliance M@tters features articles about our work, complying with anti-spam legislation, news of interest and urgent scam warnings.
We're on FacebookLike us on Facebook to keep up with spam news. We also post about scams that pose a direct threat or risk to New Zealanders.
About SpamSpam is the generic term for the electronic commercial email, fax, and mobile/smart phone text (TXT) and image-based messages you receive without having requested them.
These message are commercial in nature as they market or promote goods or services.
The Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 is designed to help stop these activities by creating a safe and secure environment for businesses and the wider community.
Businesses and individuals can Complain about Spam to the Department of Internal Affairs' Electronic Messaging Compliance team. The Department may investigate these complaints and take the appropriate action.
If you are concerned that something you have seen may be objectionable please fill out the online Content Complaint Form or contact a Censorship Inspector. The Department enforces the Films, Videos, and Publication Classification Act 1993.
New Zealand Spam LawThe Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 came into effect on 5 September 2007. The Act defines spam as 'unsolicited commercial electronic messages'.
The Act covers email, fax, instant messaging, mobile/smart phone text (TXT) and image-based messages of a commercial nature. It does NOT cover Internet pop-ups or voice telemarketing.
Purposes of the ActThe purposes of the Act are to:
- Prohibit unsolicited commercial electronic messages with a New Zealand link (i.e. messages sent to, from or within New Zealand)
- Require commercial electronic messages to include accurate information about the person who authorised the sending of the message and a functional unsubscribe facility to enable the recipient to instruct the sender that no further messages are to be sent to the recipient
- Prohibit address-harvesting software being used to create address lists for sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages
- Deter people from using information and communication technologies inappropriately.
- Requiring electronic messages to contain a functioning unsubscribe facility
- Ensuring electronic messages are sent only to customers who have consented to receiving it
- Restricting the use of address-harvesting software.
Role of the Electronic Messaging Compliance teamThe Department of Internal Affairs' Anti-Spam Compliance Unit was established in September 2007. It has since changed its name to Electronic Messaging Compliance. It consists of a Manager, a Team Leader, several Investigators, and an Analyst.
Electronic Messaging Compliance directly enforces the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 by investigating complaints about spam.
It takes enforcement action against those who deliberately flout the law, facilitates international and local industry/agency liaison, monitors emerging technologies, and advises Government on spam matters.
Electronic Messaging Compliance employs a five-pronged strategy for tackling spam. This encompasses:
- Directly enforcing the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007
- Promoting education and awareness
- Facilitating industry liaison
- Monitoring emerging technologies
- Working with international agencies.
Make sure to read our press releases and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Approach to Compliance and EnforcementThe Department's approach to compliance and enforcement in this area is set out in the document: The Department's Prosecution Policy
Watch out for scamsThis information sheet provides information about how you can identify scams to protect yourself and others from harm.
- Download 'Watch out for scams' information sheet (PDF, 1 pages, 166KB)*
- View this information as HTML
Common scamsThis information sheet provides information about the different kinds of scams you might come across. Scammers will do anything to rip you off, so it's important to be aware of the different kinds of scams circulating - especially if you use email or a mobile phone.
Social media safe tipsThis information sheet provides information to help you keep safe when using social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter.
- Download 'Social media safe tips' information sheet (PDF, 1 page, 188KB)*
- View this information as HTML
Secure passwordsThis information sheet provides tips for creating strong and unique passwords.
Contact UsContact the Electronic Messaging Compliance team by email, phone, fax or post:
Email:General enquiries and questions about making spam complaints: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us about a scam:
Email or Online scam: Forward the email / email a description of the online scam to email@example.com
TXT scam: Forward free to shortcode 7726 (SPAM)
If you know the name of the person you want to contact, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone:(+64 4) 495 7200
Post:Electronic Messaging Compliance Unit
Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805
*You need Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view our files. If you are unable to open the files we recommend you get the latest version of Adobe Reader. You can download and install Acrobat Reader for free from the Adobe website.