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Mobile Users Dob In More Text Spammers


Mobile Users Dob In More Text Spammers

The number of spam texts reported to authorities has increased nearly fivefold in the six months following the introduction of a new spam reporting tool for mobile device users.

The new mobi site was launched in June 2012 by the Department of Internal Affairs. The tool was designed by enterprise mobile messaging experts Run The Red and makes it easy for users of mobile/smartphones and hand-held devices to complain about text (TXT) spam.

Run The Red worked with Internal Affairs to simplify the spam reporting process. The project was undertaken in line with the Government’s objective to make it easy for people to complete government transactions in a digital environment.

“Run The Red’s deep understanding of the digital and mobile space has supported us in taking another step towards meeting this objective,” says Toni Demetriou, who heads the Department’s Anti Spam Compliance Unit. “When people receive an unsolicited text message, they want to report it there and then. Previously they had to forward the text and then log onto our website later to provide more details, which discouraged many people.

“The new solution is about giving the customer choices about how and when they want to engage with us – text, mobile website or online – and it’s working. I believe we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to complaints about unsolicited text messages, but the more complaints we receive, the better we can protect consumers from spam and deal with offenders quickly and efficiently.”

The Department of Internal Affairs encourages New Zealanders to report unsolicited text messages by forwarding the message free of charge to SPAM (7726). Complainants then receive a text message response containing a hyperlink to the mobi site https://7726.govt.nz where they can provide further information about their complaint. The mobi site is a website specifically designed for smaller devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Run The Red manages the secure two-way texting between the Department and the complainant as well as the complaint processing through its Enterprise SMS Gateway and RedX mCRM Platform.

Run The Red CEO Ben Northrop says: “We work closely with the New Zealand Telecommunications Forum (TCF) and with Vodafone, Telecom, 2degrees and TelstraClear to ensure that text campaigns in New Zealand comply with legislation and best practice. We encourage New Zealand businesses to use direct carrier connections for delivering customer messages, rather than some of the ‘grey routes’ as this is often how unchecked spam gets onto the local networks.”

Run The Red has previously managed other Government initiatives including the text donations for the Prime Minister’s Christchurch Earthquake Appeal. The Department of Internal Affairs and Run The Red are now looking at ways to use text messaging more effectively across different Government services.

Follow DIA anti-spam on Twitter (#AntiSpamInfoNZ) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/antispaminfonz).

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About Run the Red

Run The Red is a market leader in delivering targeted text messaging solutions to enterprise businesses globally.

Run The Red handles more than 150 million messages per year for clients through its Enterprise SMS Gateway and suite of managed mobile services. Customers include Vodafone, Facebook, Twitter, Kiwibank, Co-Operative Bank, DIA, NZ Defence Force and SKY.

Run The Red is a trusted tier 1 SMS connectivity partner will all New Zealand mobile networks including Telecom, Vodafone, Telstraclear and 2 degrees.

The company is based in Wellington and has a presence in Auckland, Sydney and Los Angeles.

ENDS


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