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Five companies have been fined a total of £68,000 for running bogus telephone dating services.

Some 400 people complained about the con after receiving a spam telling them they had an admirer. People were then invited them to call a premium rate number to find out who it was.

Despite claiming that the identity of the alleged admirer would be revealed on calling the service, premium rate regulator ICSTIS found that this was not the case. Instead, callers were merely asked to input the mobile number of someone they thought might fancy them and would only be informed if they had guessed correctly.

ICSTIS fined the companies - based in the UK, Malaga and India - a maximum of £15,000 each and blocked their services. ®

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