A hoax email stating that mobile phone numbers are about to to be released to telemarketing companies and that consumers will be charged for telemarketing calls made to them, has been circulating for some time, without a validating link.
One PWF reader has found the warning timely as it has caused many to check their ‘Do Not Call’ status and re-register this before the five year registration limit is up.
Hoaxslayer says the email info does not come from either the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) or the Do Not Call Register Operator. There have many enquiries about the message and its origin is currently being investigated by ACMA.
ACMA has published the following consumer alert warning about the hoax:
“The ACMA is aware of an email currently circulating providing misinformation about mobile numbers being made ‘public’ in the near future. It advises that as a consequence mobile users will be charged for calls made by telemarketing companies to their mobile service.
While the email refers to the Australian Do Not Call Register website, it appears to have originated in North America a number of years ago and has been intermittently circulating since that time. The reference to consumers being ‘charged’ arises from the different charging regime for mobile calls in the USA, where often charges are incurred by mobile phone users for calls they receive. This charging regime does not apply in Australia.
The Australian Do Not Call Register has strong mechanisms in place to protect the privacy of registrants. The numbers on the Do Not Call Register are never provided directly to telemarketers.
Consumers can list their Australian fixed line and mobile numbers on the Do Not Call Register, provided the numbers are used primarily for private or domestic purposes, on www.donotcall.gov.au. Consumers can also register by phoning 1300 792 958.
Under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006, telemarketers can check their calling lists against the Do Not Call Register. If a telemarketer calls a number on the Do Not Call Register, they may be in breach of the Act, and may face penalties.
The ACMA recommends recipients of the email delete it and not forward it on to other email users. A variation of this email was previously circulated during March/April 2009.”
I wasn’t aware of the 5 year ‘Do Not Call’ limit – were you?