Feeds

Text scammers fined £450,000

'Justice has been done' says UK e-minister

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.