Author: Jamie Carper, Hyde & Swigart, APC

Thousands of Californians Residents may be entitled to cash settlements for SPAM emails they received but, sadly, most of them are simply unaware of their rights.

If you have an email address—chances are you have received email spam. You know those annoying unsolicited emails offering viagra, a dream vacation, an inheritance from a long lost relative you never heard of, a Nigerian prince seeking to provide you with an enormous sum of money, a date with someone that has a romantic interest in you, or many other various types of spam emails.  California law actually makes advertising in false or deceptive spam unlawful—and you may be able to file an action against your spammers.

Spam Is a Problem 

Like junk faxes, spam imposes a cost on users, using up valuable storage space in email inboxes, as well as costly computer bandwidth, and on networks and the computer servers that power them, and discourages people from using email. The “cost shifting” from deceptive spammers to Internet business and email users has been likened to sending junk mail with postage due or making telemarketing calls to someone’s pay-per-minute cellular phone.

Cisco Systems found that in 2017, approximately two-thirds, or 65 percent, of all email is actually spam. 

Probably the biggest reason for this is that spam is easy and inexpensive to create and send—but difficult and costly to eliminate. Spam can potentially infect a user’s computer with malware that can damage the computer and network it is connected to, and even steal the user’s personal identifying information.

The increase in spam is not only an annoyance but is also an increasing drain on corporate budgets. According to Justin M. Rao of Microsoft Research and David H. Reiley, Jr., formerly of Google, spam costs American firms and consumers twenty billion dollars ($20,000,000,000) annually. California is 12 percent of the United States population with an emphasis on technology business, and it is therefore estimated that spam costs California organizations well over 2.4 billion dollars ($2,400,000,000).

What Should You Do?

Never click on the links provided in spam. In addition, do not “opt-out” of spam. Doing so will likely lead to more spam being sent to your email address.

California law prohibits spam that is false or deceptive—and either (1) uses a third-party domain name without the consent of the third-party, (2) uses forged or falsified header information, and/or (3) has a subject line that a person knows would be likely to mislead a recipient about a material fact regarding the contents or subject matter of the message.

The law also allows for recovery of actual damages or liquidated damages of $1,000 per email plus costs and attorney fees.

If you are receiving unlawful spam, and want to join the fight against unlawful spam, please contact the Law Office of Hyde & Swigart. We can help you by seeking a recovery for the violation of your  consumer rights.

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