What is spam?
Spam is an unsolicited electronic 'junk mail' message, often sent out to many people at the same time by email or text messages to mobile devices.
Spam may advertise or offer you unsolicited goods, services, land, or business and investment opportunities.
'Scam' spam messages may be used to try to trick or disadvantage you. Example: by offering you get-rich-quick schemes.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Not all messages are 'spam'
Businesses are allowed to send you 'commercial electronic messages' as long as they meet three tests set out in the Spam Act. These tests are that the message must:
- be sent with your consent
- identify the sender
- include a functional unsubscribe mechanism (in other words, you can ask not to receive any more messages).
Messages that don't meet these tests are generally 'spam' and are unlawful under the Spam Act. See Are there laws about spam?
- For more information about commercial electronic messages, spam and the Privacy Act, see Information Sheet 26
- Detailed information about spam is also available from the Australian Communications and Media Authority as well as from www.scamwatch.gov.au.