ACMA Targets Viral Telemarketers

  • Viral telemarketers in firing line
  • VoIP to identify rogue elements
  • Four companies being investigated

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is ramping up its fight against computer virus telemarketers who try to convince a consumer that their computer has a virus they can remove for a fee.

“In the first three months of 2011, nearly half of all complaints about telemarketing calls made to numbers on the Do Not Call Register have been about these types of calls,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. “The ACMA understands that while some businesses offer a legitimate virus prevention or removal service, many are falsely claiming to be related to reputable companies, such as Microsoft.”

To stop consumers from receiving these calls, the ACMA has begun a targeted compliance campaign aimed at businesses that offer online virus removal and technical support.

The compliance initiative includes formal investigations into four separate computer virus companies. In addition, the ACMA is:

  • working closely with Voice over Internet Protocol providers to identify rogue telemarketers
  • cooperating with international regulators on developing strategies to tackle this global problem
  • working closely with the ACCC as some of these businesses may be contravening consumer law.

“Australian consumers have had enough, so we’re telling these telemarketers, 'Do Not Call,'” Mr Chapman said. “Telemarketers that are investigated by the ACMA run the risk of incurring penalties of up to $110,000 per day.”