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New Decree Imposes up to VND100m Penalty on Spam Texts, Calls

Will this stop the barrage of real estate and online game solicitations attacking our inboxes?

Earlier this month, Vietnam announced Decree 91, a set of regulations aimed to restrict the spread of spam dissemination in Vietnam, according to Phap Luat. The decree, set to take effect this October, details the establishment of a national Do Not Call registry to protect private phone users from being bombarded with unwanted messages from advertisers.

Individuals and organizations can register to be part of the list via the hotline 5656. Advertisers and internet service providers are prohibited from making spam calls or sending spam messages to members of the registry, according to Decree 91.

Citizens can also report spam texts and calls to the operator of the hotline, established by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

In cases where users agree to receive promotional information, advertisers are limited to three messages and one phone call per day. Telemarketers are only allowed to send messages from 7am to 10pm and call from 8am to 5pm.

Violating these time and frequency limits can result in a fine of VND20 to 30 million. The penalty is VND5–10 million for sending spam messages and emails or making unwanted marketing calls without express permission. Advertisers who send spam to those in the Do Not Call registry might face up to VND100 million in fines.

Back in 2016, Vietnam also came up with the hotline 456 for reporting spam, though the initiative’s effectiveness is debatable. Combating spam messages is especially complex today, when some perpetrators use internet tricks to send text messages, so users can be targeted by a range of spam senders from different phone numbers in a day.

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