Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stop charging of unwanted SMS messages

13 February 2013 

Editor, Forum Page
Straits Times

The Infocomm Development Authority is probing into the activities 
of a company that attracts customers to participate in an online contest
and, without the knowledge of the customer, sends SMS messages to the 
customers at $3 per message.

It is possible that the customer might have inadvertently clicked on a
link that gives consent to the sending of the SMS messages. Usually, 
the customers are distracted by the details of the contest that they have
let down their guard.  

I suggest that the IDA officials should seek the assistance of the Police in
this investigation. This case could  be classified as "cheating", which is a 
criminal offence, and has to be prosecuted by the Police. Cheating is the 
use of deception to take money from the victim.

The offender might not be aware that they are committing a crime, and 
can be given the opportunity to compensate the unsuspecting customers, and 
also to cease this dubious operation.

If they persist, the Police can charge them in court and let the judge decide if 
this activity amounts to cheating.

I urge the IDA and the Police to take proactive action on this matter to stop 
this type of dubious activity. Similar schemes had been around for a long time and 
has given a bad name to Singapore.

I also urge them to have a talk with the mobile operators, so that these operators
are made aware that they might be abetting a crime.

Tan Kin Lian

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