Feeds

Watchdog hits 070 swindlers with big fine

'Hello, hello, can you hear me? Give me £200,000'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Regulators today signalled a crackdown on scammers who use 070 numbers to con people into calling premium lines in the belief they will be charged at the normal mobile rate.

PhonepayPlus said that its first adjudication on an 070 operator had resulted in a £200,000 fine for Jack Barnard Telecom Services Limited, based in Essex. The maximum fine the premium rate watchdog, formerly known as Icstis, can levy is £250,000.

Victims of the sting would answer a seemingly legit call from a number beginning 070365 that would play a recorded message saying "Hello, hello, can you hear me?" and then hang up. Many would then return the call unaware that 070 numbers can be charged at up to 50p per minute from a landline and more from mobile networks.

The tribunal found that Jack Bernard Telecom Services had breached the PhonepayPlus code of practice on legality, fairness, and failure to provide contact details. Because the consumer harm was "serious and required urgent remedy", the tribunal was convened under emergency procedures. The investigation was initiated in July, when a bar was placed on all the numbers being used for the scam.

Ofcom, which has ultimate responsibility for regulation of phone numbers, is reviewing 070 lines. Current rules say they are only for personal use, such as allowing mobile workers to give out a single contact line for several locations. The strong association of the "07" prefix with mobile phones has left the system easily exploitable by premium rate fraudsters, however.

In July 2006 Ofcom said it would end use of 070 redirects within three years to clamp down on abuse. Personal users will be offered a non-07 number range to make it easier for consumers to spot when they might be redirected to a premium rate line. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.