How should react if I receive spam?

If you receive annoying messages or telephone calls, you can lodge a complaint with the cantonal civil court or with the police.
Consumers are not the only ones able to bring legal action: the competitors of the company concerned, professional associations, consumer protection organisations and in certain specific cases the Confederation can too.

The penalties imposed range from a ban on sending mass advertising through confiscation of profits made to a prison sentence or a fine of up to CHF 1,080,000.

You can also inform your telecommunication services provider in writing that you have received spam. At the same time you can ask where the spam you have received came from. If possible, it will provide you with the date, time and duration of the connection or message, the addressing resource and the name and address. However, be aware that tracing will fail in some cases for technical reasons.

Even though Swiss legislation applies to messages originating from abroad, it is very difficult to enforce it beyond our frontiers. The rules for caution provided in this brochure therefore still apply.

For their part, telecommunication services providers (TSPs) are obliged to combat spam. They must:

  • protect their customers as far as possible, for example by filtering incoming messages,
  • prevent their customers from sending spam, for example by blocking their account,
  • instigate a system which enables them to deal with cases of spamming of which they are notified.

Specialist staff
Last modification 01.04.2007

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