Feeds

Nuisance calls DOUBLE, Ofcom vows to hunt down offenders

Not that easy when you only regulate UK firms, eh?

Top three mobile application threats

Ofcom has outlined yet another plan to target annoying phones calls, which according to its latest report have doubled. It is hoping that imposing a few fines, writing several stern letters and doing more research will stem the flow - despite remaining entirely powerless to prevent calls that originate outside the UK.

Many of the calls are silent, while others promise competition wins or cash rewards for unclaimed insurance or prize winnings, and responding to public complaints Ofcom has come up with a five-point plan to get them stopped, though given the regulators already handed out decent fines to UK companies guilty of generating them, while foreigners continue to call with alacrity, its hard to see what's changed.

Ofcom's new plan starts with logging more calls, getting a sample of the public to keep a diary of every call, then working with the industry to better identify calling numbers (which are often obfuscated). Once the guilty party has been identified, and assuming it's a UK company, then Ofcom will write them a stiff letter followed by a fine if that fails.

The last two points of the plan cover working with other regulators such as the ICO to trace where numbers are coming from, and the fining the miscreants again (yes, that is mentioned in point three, but it's worth mentioning again).

Silent calls are generated by machines which dial numbers, and then look for a call-centre operative when a call is answered, going silent if there aren't any available. That really upsets some people, and isn't allowed, but other calls include recorded messages and texts promising fame and fortune if you'll just confirm you're a human being by pressing a key or two (so a salesman can get onto the line).

Many people use the Telephone Preference Service to opt out of cold calling, which works well enough for calls originating in the UK, but a huge number of these calls are coming from India, Florida and elsewhere and even those who do dutifully collect the company's details and pass them on to the regulator just end up with a collection of letters apologising for its inability to do anything about them given that the offenders are operating outside its jurisdiction. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.