Australian Customs warns of email scam

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Australian Customs warns of email scam

Customs is warning Australians - ordering goods from overseas via the Web - that an email from a Hotmail account, claiming to be from Customs and asking for the payments of fees, is a scam.

The email states that in order for the purchaser to receive their goods, 'Customs' requires a payment of duty, GST and/or taxes.

Customs does not make contact with individuals via Hotmail email accounts and pending payments of duty and taxes will always be contacted in writing by mail, according to Customs.

"Consumers purchasing goods over the Internet need to take the time to find out what the correct procedures for importing goods into Australia are,” said Jane Bailey national director of Cargo.

Meanwhile, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a $149 000 penalty to DC Marketing Europe Limited for a missed call marketing campaign in 2006 which breached the Spam Act.

ACMA penalised DC Marketing for 102 contraventions relating to missed call marketing activities in July and August 2006 when mobile phone owners were forced to return the missed call and receive marketing information.

According the ACMA, the messages were unsolicited, did not identify the sender and did not contain an unsubscribe facility, each of which is a breach of the Spam Act.

“Consumers need to feel confident that when they use their mobile phone they are not going to be deceived into receiving unwanted marketing messages,’ said Chris Chapman,” ACMA chairman.

“ACMA will be significantly increasing its anti-spam activities over the next year and will be closely monitoring the mobile marketing industry’s compliance with the Spam Act,” said Chapman.

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