Feeds

Phone scammers face £250k fine

Bigger stick for regulator

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Companies that rip-off punters with dodgy premium rate services are to face increased fines of up to £250,000 after premium rate regulator ICSTIS admitted current sanctions weren't tough enough.

At the moment rogue dialler operators and other premium rate crooks that con innocent customers into running up huge phone bills can be fined up to £100,000. But a review of the £1bn industry by communications regulator Ofcom found that ICSTIS lacked enough clout to crackdown on unscrupuolous premium rate services.

Said ICSTIS boss George Kidd: "Our current fine limit of £100,000 is no longer sufficient to deal with the worst services we see.

"A new fine limit, combined with the other proposals in the Ofcom Review to strengthen consumer protection, should ensure that the relatively small number of rogues out there do not continue to damage trust and confidence in the entire premium rate industry."

Last year MPs tore into ICSTIS and its failure to regulate the premium rate industry. One senior MP described ICSTIS as being in "meltdown" as it failed to handle the rocketing number of complaints. It was also revelaed that ICSTIS had collected less than half of the fines it dished out, although this success rate has now improved to around 65 per cent.

Separately, ICSTIS confirmed it is investigating Jamster, the Verisign-owned company behind the annoying "Crazy Frog" ringtones. It has received more than 100 complaints, including from children, who say they were unaware that downloading the ringtone also signed them up to expensive premium rate services.

The investigation was launched in April and should conclude later this summer. ®

Related stories

ICSTIS bars rogue dialler operator
Telcos act to squeeze out 'few rotten apples'
UK phone scammers yet to pay fines
Ringtone sellers told to clean up act
Ofcom slaps premium rate industry
ICSTIS in meltdown - MPs

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.