Internet spam violations have increased in the past years. For example, the spammers use the interconnected network of computers that links us together in the world to disseminate malware. The spammers also use the internet to send junk email that fills up email accounts and can be used to commit online fraud – e.g., identify theft.
Robocall violations have also increased in the past years. For example, the robocallers use the telephone systems to continuously call without proper authorization. They do not state their personal or business organization’s names. They call before or after the permissible time periods (i.e., before 8:00 am/after 9:00 pm). They call by using artificial voices or recordings. They may also use automated telephone equipment to make the phone calls.
What are the legal remedies?
In California, there are several legal remedies when it comes to internet spam violations. For example, there are statutory guidelines that provide for legal and equitable remedies. You may also refer to our previous article for more information.
There are federal statutes that provide legal remedies. For example, the CAN-SPAM Act provides legal and equitable remedies.
Also, there may be grounds for filing a class action lawsuit in some cases. There have been legal actions against spammers and their cohorts, including, but not limited to, sports facilities or similar organizations that sent spam text messages or emails. There have been legal actions against spam callers (a/k/a “robocallers”) who violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) which prohibits unauthorized autodialed robocalls. These unwanted or illegal phone calls can come from financial institutions, debt collectors, retailers, or other organizations. So, this federal statute provides the right to file a class action lawsuit and grants certain remedies to the victims.
What can you do to reduce risk?
First, use a practical email filter to reduce the amount of emails you receive every day. There are various applications that can help you. This way, you can limit your exposure to receiving spam from third parties.
Third, do not choose a generic email address. In general, spammers send out their messages to users who have generic and easy to remember email accounts. So, if you choose a more unique email account (e.g., Dorothy_Miller_Star2019@gmail.com) then you will probably avoid receiving spam.
Fourth, do not allow the spammers to use your electronic devices. You should install computer security applications on your electronic devices and avoid connecting them to the internet as much as possible. You should not open attachments from senders you don’t recognize. You should always double check by contacting the recipient and asking about the attached file before opening it. Do not download free software unless you recognize and trust the website because there is a chance that it yields malware or other harmful programs.
Fifth, use good malware detection software. It’s always recommended to purchase and use malware detection software. You should also update the software on a regular basis because the patches usually address software glitches. You may receive emails or calls from your friends telling you that they’ve received strange emails from you. In some cases, your computer may work slower than usual. Also, you may find messages in your sent folder that you did not send. These are usually bad signs that should be addressed immediately.
Sixth, report spam to the government agencies or communication service providers. For example, you may report them to the Federal Trade Commission, your Email Service Provider, or the sender’s Email Service Provider. You may also consult with a legal expert about your rights and responsibilities.