Watchdog takes £170,000 chunk out of TPS fakers

watchdog icoThe privacy watchdog has come good on this week’s pledge to sink its teeth into rogue firms after revealing it has taken action against two more cold call blocking companies, continuing the crackdown on nuisance calls.
Poole-based Nuisance Call Blocker has been fined £90,000 and Telecom Protection Service, based in Bournemouth, has received an £80,000 fine, and combined with the ruling earlier this week against PPI claims company UKMS Money Solutions brings the total monetary penalties dished out this week to £250,000.
Both companies were found to be making unsolicited marketing calls to people registered on the Telephone Preference Service while trying to sell products and services to block the type of cold calls they were making.
Over 1,000 complaints were received about the two companies. People who received calls from Telecom Protection Service said callers were rude and aggressive, appeared to be preying on the elderly and vulnerable, with some even put under pressure to provide their bank details.
Complainants stated that Nuisance Call Blocker had given the impression that the calls were part of a Government-backed initiative while Telecom Protection Service’s name seemed designed for it to be confused with the official TPS opt-out scheme.
Information Commissioner’s Office head of enforcement Stephen Eckersley said: “These calls have a real impact on people’s lives and that’s why we do what we do. Complainants told us that callers tried to obtain money by deception and the calls were misleading and a scam.
“This action should send out a clear message to other businesses that we will act to stop this behaviour.”
Alongside the fines, the ICO has also issued both firms with enforcement notices, ordering them to stop making the calls. Breaching an enforcement notice is a criminal offence.

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