THE operators of a mobile phone text scam that preyed on the desperate and dateless were yesterday slammed with $15.8million in fines for breaching anti-spam laws.
The fine, from Queensland's Federal Court, makes the operators -- who posted fake personals profiles on dating websites to harvest mobile phone numbers and lure men to pay up to $5 per message for SMS sex chat services -- the recipients of Australia's largest spam penalty.
It trumped the West Australian Federal Court's October 2006 imposition of $5.5m in fines against email marketing company Clarity1, of which $1m was levied against managing director Wayne Mansfield.
It was also the first time the Australian Communications and Media Authority had taken legal action over SMS spam.
By Andrew Colley