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Electronic Communications and Transactions Act

Fraud Alert:

According to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002 No. 25 of 2002, the following is applicable to unsolicited communications:

Section 45: Unsolicited goods, services or communications:

Any person who sends unsolicited commercial communications to consumers, must provide the consumer with

  1. the option to cancel his or her subscription to the mailing list of that person; and
  2.  the identifying particulars of the source from which that person obtained the consumer’s personal information, on request of the consumer.

No agreement is concluded where a consumer has failed to respond to an unsolicited communication.

Any person who fails to comply with or contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to the penalties prescribed in section 89(1).

Any person who sends unsolicited commercial communications to a person who has advised the sender that such communications are unwelcome, is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction, to the penalties prescribed in section 89(1).

See a sample e-mail that you could send to an offender below:

On [insert date here], I received the following message from you:

| Nasty spammer, fraudulent claims, inflating benefits, wasting my time, wasting my money, putting me last, clogging my mail server, raising my blood pressure, causing distress, phishing, etc.

Since this is a commercial message, and since I have not requested to be placed on your mailing list, this message constitutes an unsolicited communication in terms of section 45 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (Act 25 of 2002).

In terms of section 45(4) of this Act, this message serves as notification that I do not wish to receive any further communications from you. Failure to comply with this request constitutes a criminal offence in terms of the ECT Act.

Additionally, I hereby request that you immediately disclose where you obtained my contact details, as per section 45(1) of the ECT Act. Failure to respond to this request also constitutes a criminal offence.

[Optional paragraph: I note that your original message did not provide me with an option to cancel my subscription to your mailing list, as required by section 45(1) of the Act. This means that you may already have committed an offence in terms of section 45(3) of the Act, and may be subject to prosecution.]

Should you wish to familiarise yourself with the relevant legislation, or check my facts, a copy of the ECT Act is available on-line via the Government’s web site:

http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=68060

Your co-operation in this matter will be appreciated,