Feeds

Text scammers fined £450,000

'Justice has been done' says UK e-minister

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

ICSTIS, the premium rate watchdog, has dished out fines totalling £450,000 after getting tough on text spammers and scammers. Six overseas companies - Vertical Media Ltd, Fast Way Holdings Ltd, Litmus Ltd, Indiano Communications, Greenbay Ltd and Quartel Ltd - have each been slapped with fines of £75,000.

They were singled out for sending text spam, making unsolicited phone calls and using automated calling equipment to leave "missed calls" on mobile phones, tempting punters to phone back on premium-rate phone numbers costing up to £1.50 a minute. The regulator found that these companies deliberately tried to con people into calling premium-rate numbers to claim prizes that didn't exist or didn't match what was promised.

ICSTIS Director George Kidd said: "The case is of particular concern as the six companies all have the same UK agent operating on their behalf - a company called Smile Telecom, based in Bury - and all have the same mailing address. We have instructed redress to be paid to those affected but Smile Telecom has refused to compensate complainants unless requested to do so by its six clients."

Along with the £450,000 collective fine, ICSTIS has barred the six companies from operating in the UK. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), communications regulator Ofcom and the police have also been called in to investigate the links between those involved.

Communications minister Stephen Timms chipped in: "Consumers who get ripped off by these scams will be pleased to see that justice has been done. These get-rich-quick schemes damage the reputations of legitimate operators. We are determined to work with ICSTIS and other groups to weed out these fraudsters and make sure that such scams are confined to the past." ®

Related stories

UK Watchdog bites mobile spam scammers
Watchdog to target text spammers
Text spammer fined £40k

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.