Florida’s Law: What SPAM is Prohibited?
While most SPAM is annoying and some is even offensive or fraudulent, it is important to note that not all unsolicited commercial e-mail or SPAM is illegal. Florida’s Electronic Mail Communications Act prohibits fraudulent, false or deceptive e-mail messages and the distribution of software designed to falsify information in the e-mail header, which would conceal the true origin of the e-mail message.
Under the new Act, spammers may be sued not only by the Attorney General, but also by Internet Service Providers and may have to pay actual damages or damages of $500 for each unlawful message and attorney’s fees and costs. Violators of the Electronic Mail Communications Act are also subject to additional remedies and penalties available under other federal and state laws.E-mail is prohibited if the e-mail message:
- was sent for commercial or business purposes;
- was unsolicited and was not from a person with whom you have entered into a transaction or had a prior relationship;
- was received by a Florida resident or sent from a computer in Florida.
- any one of the following:
- contains false or misleading information in the subject line;
- contains a false header (falsified or missing routing information or otherwise obscures the path of the email from the sender); or
- contains false or deceptive information in the email body designed to cause damage (i.e. virus).
Once these criteria are satisfied, a person may not initiate or assist in the transmission of illegal e-mail. For more information, The Electronic Mail Communications Act, Chapter 668, Part III, Florida Statutes (Sections 668.60-668.6075) can be found at http://election.dos.state.fl.us/laws/04laws/ch_2004-233.pdf
If you have received an e-mail prohibited under Florida law, you may File A Complaint.What happens to your Complaint?
SPAM complaints filed with our office are entered into our database for potential enforcement action by the Attorney General. We monitor complaints for trends and to learn of potential targets for enforcement. Due to the enormous volume of SPAM complaints received, we cannot send a personal response to you. You will receive an electronic confirmation that your complaint has been received by this office.
In addition to filing a complaint, you are encouraged to review the ALERTS, links and other educational information available on this website to assist you in protecting yourself from scams promoted by e-mails.
We appreciate the efforts of responsible citizens to assist us in identifying trends that permit us to investigate and pursue enforcement actions.