QLD Would sending group text message gets me into legal trouble

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Julia Meng

Active Member
3 August 2020
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Someone owes me more than 10k and this person vanished for more than 3 years and recently emerged. I happened to acquire this person's current mobile number but without last 3 digits. I was planning to send out text messages from 001 - 999 asking for the payback. This message would be specifically addressed to this person with this person's name the owing amount. Would sending out text messages to a group of strangers get me into a legal trouble?
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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Legalities aside, why would someone who owes you $10K & disappeared 3 years ago respond to you text even if they got it ?

Also I'm not a mathematician, but I think all combinations of 3 numbers would amount to a lot more than 1,000, could be wrong.

Have you exhausted all other avenues of finding this person, & do you have proof that would stand up in court that they owe you that amount?
 

Julia Meng

Active Member
3 August 2020
8
0
31
Yes, I have exhausted all other avenues to find this person but thisa and I have evidence to prove he owes me money.
I wanted to know if sending text messages to a group of unknown would get me into legal trouble. I wanted to try what I can.
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
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You want to send unsolicited demands for money, to people you don't know?
You're joking, right?

You're looking straight down the barrel of an offence called "Use Carriage Service To Harrass".
 

Julia Meng

Active Member
3 August 2020
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31
No, I wasn't joking, I was thinking down this track. That's why I asked the question first to see if I can.
Thanks for letting me know, otherwise I would have no clue what this will get me involved.
Even in the text message, I mentioned the person's name, amount owing, the date the event occurred specifically, will I still be in trouble?
I thought if people don't recognise this, they can simply ignore the text message, only the person who owed money might respond.
 

Julia Meng

Active Member
3 August 2020
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31
section 474.17 the Criminal Code Act 1995 (CTH) which states: “a person is guilty of an offence if:
  • The person uses a carriage service; and
  • The person does so in a way (whether by the method of use or the content of a communication, or both) that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, menacing, harassing or offensive
In the text message, I will only mention the person's name such as ABC, would this be considered as menacing, harassing or offensive under the section?
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
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No, I wasn't joking, I was thinking down this track. That's why I asked the question first to see if I can.
Thanks for letting me know, otherwise I would have no clue what this will get me involved.
Even in the text message, I mentioned the person's name, amount owing, the date the event occurred specifically, will I still be in trouble?
I thought if people don't recognise this, they can simply ignore the text message, only the person who owed money might respond.
"People" are not that clever.
Some random sends them a message like you propose, it will at least annoy them, and at worst, distress them.
Get sensible, and find another way.

In any event, it's not as if the person who owes you money
is going to take any notice of a text message.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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In any event, it's not as if the person who owes you money
is going to take any notice of a text message.
Yep... Not even worth the effort.

Assuming you've' tried the usual, Face Book, Linkedin, just googling etc ?

IF you definitely have good solid evidence that
a) it was money that was meant to be paid back, & you both know it
b) The date it happened & preferably something signed..

Then it MAY be worth seeing a private investigator to inquire what it would cost to track down this fellow ..... If you have full name & an address, you can pursue it through civil court... Starting with a letter of demand, followed by being served with papers to respond & appear in court
 

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
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...assuming of course that you can prove both that the debt exists, and the amount.
 

Julia Meng

Active Member
3 August 2020
8
0
31
Yep... Not even worth the effort.

Assuming you've' tried the usual, Face Book, Linkedin, just googling etc ?

IF you definitely have good solid evidence that
a) it was money that was meant to be paid back, & you both know it
b) The date it happened & preferably something signed..

Then it MAY be worth seeing a private investigator to inquire what it would cost to track down this fellow ..... If you have full name & an address, you can pursue it through civil court... Starting with a letter of demand, followed by being served with papers to respond & appear in court
Yes, I can prove both of the above and have the document signed by that person. Engaging a private investigator would cost too much.
Thank you for your professional advice. I will take the advice and have a think about it.