ICO raids ‘Scamchester’ premises

ICO raids scamchester premisesManchester could soon be known as “Scamchester” following news that a hit-squad has raided a call centre in the city believed to contain an automatic dialler suspected of making 100,000 calls a day.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has received more than 7,000 complaints about calls believed to have been made by the business. Most of the calls were about so-called mis-sold pensions or pension reviews, while some covered PPI, debt management and delayed flight compensation.
It is thought the business made automated calls playing a recorded message. People who responded to the calls by pressing a number on their phone keypads were put through to staff working at the call centre.
The regulator also received complaints from two phone network providers, which claimed their services had been disrupted by the large number of calls being made by the business.
The law on making automated calls playing recorded messages is stricter than on other marketing calls. Organisations can only make automated marketing calls to people who have specifically consented to receiving automated calls from that organisation.
However, the ICO will not be naming the business while investigations continue.
Enforcement group manager Andy Curry said: “Companies know what the rules are on these types of calls. They need to know too that people are sick of them, and when people complain to us, we will act.
“Today’s searches are no one-off. We’ve got around 60 active investigations into organisations we believe are breaking the rules around nuisance calls and texts. Those investigations will result in fines and other enforcement action, and will cause some disruption to the companies who appear intent on causing it themselves.”

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