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Rogue diallers fingered by Ofcom

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Ofcom is looking to clamp down on rogue diallers by closing existing loopholes.

Existing Premium Rate Services (PRS) regulation only applies to rogue diallers using 09 premium rate or international numbers.

Instead, Ofcom is proposing to take action against any rogue dialler - software that hijacks computers and dials expensive numbers racking up massive bills for their owners - regardless of what type of number is called.

No doubt critics of the regulator will question why such loopholes existed in the first place and why Ofcom has only suggested introducing this safeguard now.

According to the latest info available, complaints about rogue diallers have plumetted. Much of this is down to the shift from dial-up services to broadband, but PRS regulator ICSTIS can't help but also take some of the credit.

"By Autumn 2005 we had achieved a 99 per cent reduction in the enquiry and complaint levels linked to Internet dialler services," said the latest activity plan from ICSTIS.

"This was achieved through effective crisis management and partnership management with originating networks, Ofcom, DTI, trade bodies and others including the police."

So, Ofcom's "Action on rogue internet diallers" which is open for consultation until December 22 looks...better late than never. ®

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