Mobile phone spammers busted in Hanoi

TN News

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Investigators from the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications Tuesday busted a Hanoi-based company spamming thousands of mobile phones with advertisements.


During the raid, conducted in cooperation with Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team, investigators found that EMOBI Joint-stock Company in Dong Da District used software to send fortune-telling and gambling related spam messages to mobile phones across the country.


Those who respond to the bogus offers were charged fees, according to investigators.


The company sent out up to 800 texts every hour, according to investigators.


Earlier this month, another Hanoi-based company, VNNET Joint-stock Company was also booked for spamming mobile phones.


Initial information showed that VNNET spammed three times a week on average, targeting around 20,000 numbers each time.


Both companies, and their partners, are under investigation.


If the companies are found guilty of threatening national security and/or cheating people, they can face criminal charges, Tran Ngoc Tiep, deputy chief inspector of the ministry told Thanh Nien.


Under Vietnam's laws, spammers are fined VND40 million (US$1,938) at most, and are likely to have their service numbers withdrawn, an investigator said, adding they could be banned from getting new numbers.


According to the ministry's investigators, around 300 companies currently provide content services in Vietnam, including those operating without licenses.


Usually service providers share profits with network providers, so the latter turns a blind eye to spamming.


Worse still, it's hard to trace spammers, because they use promotional SIM cards which don't require registration, they said.


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