Helping Washington, D.C. victims of CAN-SPAM Violations

Consumers can protect themselves from unsolicited commercial emails

If you have an email address then you know what a nuisance SPAM emails can be. SPAM are un-solicited commercial emails that flood your inbox and cost you time and energy constantly deleting them. In an effort to stem the tide of these annoying and often offensive email intrusions, Congress passed the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM).  If you have been subject to excessive unwanted emails for myriad reasons, Paulson & Nace, PLLC in Washington, D.C. may be able to help you put an end to the harassment.

What does the CAN-SPAM Act do?

CAN-SPAM was designed to control the distribution of spam email, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has 7 simple rules that business and marketers must follow in order to stay in compliance:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  • Identify the message as an ad.
  • Tell recipients where you’re located.
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.

The CAN-SPAM law applies to any size business that uses email marketing. Deceptive email subject headers are banned, and a "brown paper wrapper" requirement applies to email messages that contain sexually explicit content, and contain the words "sexually explicit content" in the header.

It is crucial to understand that simply sending a SPAM message does not make a person guilty of a CAN-SPAM violation. The true basis of the Act is, essentially, that “honesty is the best policy;” thus, any company which send you unsolicited emails that are clear about their purpose is not in violation. If you are unsure whether or not you are being harassed under the CAN-SPAM Act, a privacy protection attorney at Paulson & Nace can explain it all to you.

Penalties for CAN-SPAM violations

The CAN-SPAM law has been regulated by the Federal Trade Commission since its inception. Individual consumers do not have standing to file their own private lawsuit for damages after receiving unsolicited SPAM or junk email. The Federal Trade Commission or the state attorney general will sue the senders of the SPAM on behalf of the consumer. They can impose civil penalties and force them to stop sending the emails. Some violators may also be punished with prison time. In the District of Columbia, it may be possible for individuals or non-profit special interest organizations to bring private rights of action for violations of CAN-SPAM through DC’s Consumer Protection Act.

Learn more about the CAN-SPAM Act

SPAM is annoying; incessant, unwanted harassment via email by marketing companies is illegal. The Washington, D.C. law firm of Paulson & Nace, PLLC helps victims of CAN-SPAM Act violations get the relief they need from companies that refuse to follow the law. To speak with a consumer protection attorney about your case, please call 202-463-1999 or fill out our contact form.