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ICO Raid on Suspect Call Center

It’s been just a few months since the UK’s Information Commissioners Office (ICO) took down its last target — using UK mobile users reports to 7726. Last week though, the regulator struck yet another blow against spam SMS texting. This time the ICO raided a claims management call centre in the Welsh town of Llanelli.

The business in question was linked to an estimated six million unsolicited SMS messages. In the raid, company documents and computer hardware were seized by authorities to evaluate if the organization was disregarding various regulations put in place to protect consumers. Also, if so, where they might be be sourcing their data and if they resold this information to 3rd parties.

According to the ICO, reports to the telecom industry and the ICO’s online reporting tool alongside intelligence to the Ministry of Justice Claims Management Regulation Unit (CMRU) led investigators to these spammers. These types of actions complement the work of phone carriers against SMS spam, and highlight the on-going role of government in inhibiting spammers. We’ve seen repeatedly the dent that these actions can make in the spam volume. Unfortunately, it’s still a profitable medium for unscrupulous marketing, advertising, and malicious uses, so constant efforts will be required by both carriers and government to deal with other spammers stepping in to replace the ones in Llanelli and Wolverhampton.

To help take the fight to more spammers, report any and all spam text messages you might receive on you mobile device to the short-code 7726 (SPAM on your keyboard). These reports empower your operator and regulatory bodies to take action against the persistent burden of spam.

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