In What State Is Sending Unsolicited Email Illegal? 

Spam email is one of those concepts that we all understand but have trouble defining in precise terms. Spam is not exactly a legal term, and there might be some confusion about whether it is considered legal or illegal in the United States. Since concepts overlap easily, it’s worth exploring which emails break the law and which ones are just annoying. Whatever the type, you probably want to know how to stop receiving them.

Is It Legal to Send Unsolicited Emails?

We hate to break it to you, but—yes, technically speaking, it is legal. Not everything is bad, though. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 listed strict regulations for commercial, unsolicited emails, and violation of those regulations can come at a high cost. Here’s a list of requirements for spam to be considered legal:

  • It must be possible to opt out—The recipient must have a choice to stop the email onslaught. It can be just an Unsubscribe button or a request to email the sender to be removed from the mailing list
  • If the recipient opts out, the sender has ten days to obey
  • Legal emails cannot contain misleading or false header information
  • The email must include a physical address
  • The message must clearly state that it’s an ad

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website, each separate email that fails to meet these requirements can face a penalty of up to $43,280, or in some more serious cases, imprisonment. 

Is Sending Spam Emails Illegal in Your State?

While 37 states in the U.S. have laws that deal with unsolicited electronic mail, most of those are preempted by the CAN-SPAM Act. The majority of state laws on this topic refer to fraudulent or commercial emails, and forbid misrepresenting, using someone’s internet address without their permission, or mislabeling adult-oriented advertising. 

State

Statute

Alaska

Alaska Stat. § 45.50.479

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 44-1372 et seq., 44-7201, -7202, -7203, -7204

Arkansas

Ark. Code §§ 5-41-205, 4-88-60 et seq.

California

Cal. Business & Professions Code §§ 17529-17529.9, 17538.41, 17538.45, 22948, et seq.

Colorado

Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 6-1-702.5, 18-5-308

Connecticut

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-451, 52-570c

Delaware

Del. Code tit. 11 § 937 – 941

Florida

Fla. Stat. § 668.60 et seq.

Georgia

Ga. Code §§ 16-9-92, 16-9-100 to 109

Idaho

Idaho Code § 48-603E

Illinois

815 ILCS 511/1 et seq.

Indiana

Ind. Code § 24-5-22

Iowa

Iowa Code §§ 716A.1 to -.7

Kansas

Kan. Stat. § 50-6,107

Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. §§ 14:73.1, 14:73.6, 51:2001, 51:2002, 51:2003, 51:2004

Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 10 § 1497

Maryland

Md. Crim. Code § 3-805.1

Michigan

Mich. Comp. Laws § 445.2501 et seq., § 752.1061 to .1068 (Child protection registry)

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 325F.694

Missouri

Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 407.1123, .1126, .1129, .1132

Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 205.492, 205.511 to .513, 41.705 to .735

New Mexico

N.M. Stat. §§ 57-12-23, -24

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-453 – 458, 1-539.2A

North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code § 51-27-01

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code § 2307.64

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 15 § 776.1 -776.7

Pennsylvania

73 Pa. Stat. 2250.1 to .8 (2002 Act 222, Unconsolidated Statutes)

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 6-47-2, 11-52-1, 11-52-2, 11-52-4.1, 11-52-6

South Dakota

S.D. Codified Laws § 37-24-42, 37-24-43, 37-24-44, 37-24-45, 37-24-46, 37-24-47, 37-24-48

Tennessee

Tenn. Code §§ 47-18-2501, -2502, §§ 39-14-603 to -605

Texas

Texas Bus. & Com. Code Ann. § 321.001 et seq.

Utah

Utah Code §§ 13-39-101, -102, -201, -202 (Child protection registry)

Virginia

Va. Code §§ 18.2-152.3C1, 18.2-152.4, -152.12

Washington

Wash. Rev. Code §§ 19.190.010 to .110

West Virginia

W. Va. Code §§ 46A-6G1 to -6G5

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. § 944.25
WyomingWyo. Stat. §§ 40-12-401 to -404

DoNotPay Can Protect Your Inbox Regardless of the Legal Definition of Spam Email!

No matter the legal status of a specific email, if it’s unsolicited or not useful, you probably don’t want it in your inbox. Productivity is important, now more than ever, and separating the wheat from the chaff is not something to waste your time on. Unsubscribing from emails or reporting spam emails can help, but serious and dangerous spammers won’t be so easy to beat. 

With DoNotPay, you have a fast, safe, and convenient method to fight any email that doesn’t belong in your inbox. The process to deal with spammers using DoNotPay is straightforward and foolproof, so you don’t need to be a computer whiz to benefit from these simple steps:

  1. Use DoNotPay’s website in your web browser or download our iOS app to set up your profile
  2. Find Spam Collector and click on Get Protected
  3. Provide the email address you use 
  4. Block each new spam email by forwarding it to spam@donotpay.com

It’s as easy as that, and we haven’t even reached the best part yet! Once you forward the spam email to us, your AI legal assistant will notify you whether there are any class actions against that specific spammer. 

If there’s a match, you can add your name to the list of the damaged parties. If the lawsuit goes in your favor, you may be entitled to compensation. Your earnings can go up to $500, depending on circumstances. Can you find a better way to exact some sweet spam email revenge? We didn’t think so. 

In your DoNotPay dashboard, you will be able to track your earnings and investigations against corporations that stand behind those annoying emails that cluttered your inbox.  

How to Prevent Getting Illegal Emails or Legal Bulk Emails?

You can never be too careful. Email scams and frauds abound, and while DoNotPay can help you protect yourself once they reach you, some general precautionary advice is in order:

  • Don’t give out your email address like Halloween candy
  • Don’t click on links that seem wrong 
  • Learn how to block spam email on Android and Apple devices 
  • Use disposable email addresses for websites you don’t trust
  • Spell everything out when sharing your address to fool spambots (e.g., John DOT Doe AT gmail DOT com)

DoNotPay Can Keep Your Physical Mailbox Safe as Well

Regardless of how much you’ve digitalized your business and your household, the chances are that some important pieces of information will arrive in an old-fashioned envelope via snail mail. That’s not the only thing that can end up in your inbox. 

As much as your virtual inbox, your physical mailbox is probably plagued by spam advertising campaigns or letters from shady organizations requesting help and donations. It’s become our habit to quickly dispose of that junk, even without looking, so important papers may disappear in the depths of your trash can. 

That problem won’t happen to you if you use DoNotPay to minimize spam that comes in print. The process is not complex by any means:

  1. Take a photo of the spam mail
  2. Log in to your DoNotPay account
  3. Select DoNotMail
  4. Upload your photos

Not only will you keep your mailbox decluttered, but you will also help save the planet by limiting the amount of paper waste!

Let DoNotPay Help You With Other Issues!

Now that you know how to stop spam emails with DoNotPay, why not explore how your pocket robot lawyer can help with some other issues? Our impressive portfolio includes solutions to various violations of your rights as a consumer. Many legal and administrative issues devour unnecessary time, money, and energy. Many people don’t even know how to begin to solve them. They get entangled in the intricacies of our legal system and give up. 

Are you experiencing harassing phone calls from your ex? Do you need to request a chargeback but don’t know how? Are you thinking about reporting email abuse or cyberstalking, but you’re not sure what the process entails? DoNotPay has answers to all those questions and more. 

Jump on the bandwagon of easy and efficient legal help that our app can provide. Get those problems fixed today by creating your profile in any web browser or by downloading our iOS app to your smart devices. You’ll be surprised by all the things DoNotPay can help you with: