A businessman from Australia was ordered by a court in Auckland to pay $95,000 in fines for spamming the emails of New Zealanders. Kiwis received almost a million spam messages after the Australian bought email addresses from a data mining company.
Wayne Mansfield from Perth, Australia was discovered to be storing 80,000 email addresses in his database which he used to send emails containing details about his business seminar. Mr. Mansfield has been sending spam messages for more than two months.
This was the third time in New Zealand that someone was penalised for sending spam messages. Justice Edwin Wylie of the High Court at Auckland made the decision since he found Mr. Mansfield as deliberate and reckless in his use of email addresses to send spam.
The Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand has received 53 complaints from email users about spam messages containing information about Mr. Mansfield's Business Seminars NZ. The department has found that emails were promoting 16 business seminars around the country.
Some of the subjects of email spams include "Someone is waiting for your call - don't be a Cold Calling Scardy Cat" and "An Evening with a Marketing and Business Legend". Authorities compared the messages marked as spam and found the same contact information belonging to Mr. Mansfield.
Since early 2010, Business Seminars NZ has been removed from the list of registered companies before Internal Affairs received the first complaint. Under New Zealand's Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007, it is deemed illegal to send unsolicited messages with commercial content. The law aims to fight spam and penalise those who commit rampant email spamming.
According to Mr. Mansfield, his business was complying with the New Zealand legislation and was acting within the rules imposed on those who practice direct marketing. This was the statement received by the investigator from Internal Affairs when he contacted Mr. Mansfield. When the investigator asked for evidence supporting his statement, he was unable to comply.
However, the Australian businessman admitted he bought more than 80,000 addresses from Image Marketing Group. Internal Affairs is also bent on seeking penalties against the company including its director, Brendan Battles.
One email user complained that she continued to receive the same spam messages despite clicking the 'Unsubscribe' link.
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