DO NOT call, do not click, do not believe. People are bombarded with so many conflicting messages it is hard to know what is true.
The latest email scam doing the rounds is a message claiming mobile phone numbers will be released to telemarketers next month and users will be charged for the incoming calls. There are two major flaws in the email: it has been around since 2009 and it is not true.
A spokeswoman for the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Emma Rossi, said personal mobile phone numbers had not been made public and never would.
''This has been kicking around for two years and for some reason it is more active again,'' Ms Rossi said. One email she saw yesterday even had a link to her own email address at ACMA.
The email that has been recirculated, with the subject line: Fw: MOBILE PHONE NUMBERS GOING PUBLIC, says: ''REMEMBER: Mobile Phone Numbers Go Public next month. REMINDER: all mobile phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale calls. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS.''
It contains a link to the Do Not Call Register. However, ACMA advises people to visit its website independently rather than click through from a bogus email.
The resurfacing of the email comes as ACMA claimed its first scalp in the war against rogue callers. The Federal Court has fined a Queensland travel company $120,000 for making more than 12,000 unsolicited calls to numbers listed on the register. The company, FHT Travel Pty Ltd, is being struck off the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's Register of Companies.
The Do Not Call Register is a free service for people who prefer not to be contacted by telemarketers. Anyone can list their home, mobile phone and fax numbers either through ACMA's website or by phoning or mailing the government organisation. Charities, research companies, political parties and educational institutions are exempt from the calling ban.
''The good part is the register has been going for four years and 90 per cent of people using it say they have had success with a reduction in the number of people calling,'' Ms Rossi said.