Financial providers punished for spam, calls

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SYDNEY, AAP — Three financial service providers have broken spam and telemarketing laws and more are under scrutiny to prevent them from offering fast loans to vulnerable people.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority found that three companies called or emailed and texted with unsolicited financial offers.

The main culprit was Phoenix Securities, which sent more than 3,000 unsolicited emails offering business loans.

The company paid a fine of $26,640.

Phoenix has also provided a court-enforceable undertaking for a consultant to ensure that its systems comply with laws such as the Anti-Spam Act and the Do Not Call Registry Act.

The company must train its staff to comply with the laws and report its progress to the regulator.

Two other companies have signed similar commitments.

Software development firm My Alfred did so after making 14 calls offering its do-not-call registry numbers.

Loan broker Pineapple Funding also got involved after sending 175 unsolicited text messages to business owners promoting its services.

ACMA President Nerida O’Loughlin said Australians could suffer significant harm when financial service providers break the rules.

“Those in vulnerable circumstances are particularly at risk when offered what looks like easy money or quick loans out of the blue,” she said.

Financial services providers were the top companies for paying nearly $900,000 in fines to the ACMA over the past 18 months.

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