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Anti-phone spam fines on way

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Mar 29,2005
Starting tomorrow, the government will fine advertisers who send text messages or call customers for promotions without receiving prior consent. The Ministry of Information and Communication said yesterday that it would work with prosecutors and police in its crackdown on unwanted advertisements, and that violators would be fined up to 30 million won ($29,431). Until now, advertisers were allowed to contact customers unless the customers asked them not to. The new regulation applies to cellphones, fixed-line phones and fax, but not e-mail. Automated telemarketing calls are prohibited. For calls made in person, marketers are only allowed to call customers who have consented to such advertisements on their Web site. Even if customers have agreed to receive promotional phone calls, advertisers must receive additional permission from them if they want to send text message ads between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. In the case of phone calls made in person, however, the regulation does not apply to enterprises subject to door-to-door sales or electronic trade laws, such as companies that do direct sales in cosmetics or water filters. Those that receive spam telephone calls or text messages are urged to file a report on the Korea Spam Response Center’s Web site (www.spamcop.or.kr), which is also in English, or call the department (02-1336). The complainant should report the number of the sender, if his or her phone supports caller ID. “We have increased the daily capacity of the spam response center fourfold to prepare for more calls,” said Information Ministry official Jang Seok-young. “We will primarily focus on advertisements offering credit card loans or real estate deals, and 060 calls, which usually contain sexual content. Advertisements in these three areas make up about 90 percent of all mobile spam ads.” by Wohn Dong-hee


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