People have become frustrated after receiving unsolicited text messages from the United Australia Party (UAP).
A first message was sent out and declared: "you can never trust the Liberals, Labor or Greens again", including a link to the UAP's website.
One week later, a second message included a link to a UAP page summarising a COVID-19 vaccines adverse events report.
As Batemans Bay receives news of its second COVID-19 case, the NSW Health message to the public is to get vaccinated, not to scare people off.
One Batemans Bay Post reader was outraged by the message.
"(It's) deliberately misleading people by directing them to this unscientific source, it's playing with people's lives and contradicting advice from NSW Health, state and federal governments," the reader said.
National media reported the UAP's motivation sending these messages was to draw attention to the party ahead of the federal election.
You might be thinking, you are not a member of the UAP and did not sign up to their messages, so why are you receiving them?
It turns out their unsolicited texts are within the law.
Anti-spam laws don't apply to registered political parties - even if your number was registered on the Do Not Call Register. Exempt organisations from the Do Not Call Register include:
- government organisations or agencies
- registered charities
- educational institutions where you are or were a student
- registered political parties
- members of parliament
- people standing as a candidate in an election
It's understood there's not much you can do but ignore the messages. You can try and block the sender if a number is provided.
How did the UAP get your phone number?
You may have previously agreed to sharing your mobile number to access information or notifications on a website or signed up to a marketing list.
It is known that third-party sites have sold lists of phone numbers to political parties who then have the free rein to communicate messages.